A FACEBOOK page created to support people with mental health issues in memory of a friend who took his own life has been nominated for a Proud of Barnsley award.
The Liam Jones Legacy was set up in May 2018 after Liam Jones, 24, of Manor Crescent, Grimethorpe, took his own life despite having never displayed any signs of having mental health problems.
The group was the idea of family friend Laura Seres to help and signpost mental health sufferers to much-needed support services in the hope of saving lives.
Since then Laura, her husband Scott, Liam’s partner Quinn Atherton and other helpers have raised thousands of pounds through events including family fun days the latest of which was due to take place last weekend but was cancelled due to bad weather but plans to reschedule hopefully for September 10 are already underway.
Funds raised have been donated to various charities including Barnsley and Rotherham MIND and Barnsley Samaritans as well as helping individuals affected by mental health issues.
“We have bought memorial benches for bereaved families who have lost someone to mental health and we have also used some of the money to get counselling for people who have been bereaved and others who have mental health problems,” said Laura.
“We have also given money to food banks and helped out Andys Man Club which does great work. We weren’t able to do a lot of fundraising during the pandemic but are keen to get things going again.
“We don’t know if Liam knew where to go for help, we don’t know if his life could have saved but we want to try to make sure that anyone who is in Liam’s situation knows where they can turn and signpost them to where they can get help.”
Laura and the other Liam Jones Legacy supporters have all received mental health training free through Mind Matters and have all undergone further training through ASIST which means that they are trained as mental health first aiders with the intervention skills to help with mental health emergencies.
“We have had a lot of help and we have used some of the money raised to pay for training for people in our community so that there is more mental health first aid available,” said Laura.
“The main message that we want to get out is that there is always help available, If someone messages us on the page, there is always someone there, someone who is qualified to help.
“Our service is completely confidential and from the minute someone messages us, the help they receive is individual to them. Group support may not be right for them so we will signpost them to online help and chats,
“If they want to go along to one of the groups like Andys Man Club but they don’t want to go alone then we can go with them my husband has accompanied people on several occasions,
“We just ask that if you need help or are struggling that you contact us because we can help we are always available via the messenger as a first point of contact.”