Mother of student who fell from Orwell Bridge backs Ipswich Town mental health campaign
PUBLISHED: 16:31 01 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:31 01 August 2018
The mother of Archie Hall, who fell from the Orwell Bridge in 2015, has voiced her support for Ipswich Town’s new mental health campaign.
Laura Hall, from Holbrook, lost her son when he was just 20 years old following a severe decline in his mental health.
She said the campaign, launched on Monday, would help raise awareness that anybody can be a victim of mental illness.
“Obviously I think it is really good,” she said. “It is just driving it home – there is help out there.”
Ms Hall added that using the influence of a local football team is “ideal”.
“It is trying to get the message across to people that might be under the radar of other campaigns,” she said.
While he did not have any particular affinity to Ipswich Town, Ms Hall said Archie “loved his sport”.
She stressed that, however well you may think you know someone, suicide is a very real threat – and could affect anybody.
“It is very rare that you know that somebody close to you is suicidal,” she said. “You would be amazed that you could have somebody in your family or a really close friend who is suffering – you really wouldn’t know. So it is a hidden illness.”
Ms Hall she also hoped the campaign would help spread the word that “you don’t need to be suicidal to seek help”.
In the promotional video created by Ipswich Town – and viewed more than 35,000 times – new manager Paul Hurst appears alongside players and captain Luke Chambers outlining a new partnership with Suffolk Mind and Samaritans.
They stress that suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50 in the UK, adding that together, we can all make a difference.
Several of the team’s most high-profile players feature in the clip.
Together, they add: “We believe that no-one should have to face a mental health problem alone. We all have mental health. We can all look after ourselves and those around us.
“It’s good to talk. Whether you’re stressed, depressed, or unwell, or just want to find out more about staying healthy, Suffolk Mind will listen, give you support, advice and help fight your corner.”
Archie’s brother, Sam, has previously raised funds for Mind, and Ms Hall joined forces with the Ipswich Star and East Anglian Daily Times back in 2016 to launch a campaign calling for additional safety measures to be put in place on the Orwell Bridge.
A conclusion of death by misadventure was recorded at Archie’s inquest because assistant coroner for Suffolk, Nigel Parsley, said he could not make a suicide ruling due to not being certain Archie intended his actions to result in his death.
• If you’re having suicidal thoughts, contact the Samaritans on 116 123.
• Suffolk Mind are available on 0300 111 6000 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.