IAN HART: Help is not just a four-letter word

Ian Hart
Ian Hart
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My dear old friend Roy Chuter has a Brighton and Hove City Bus named after him, it’s in recognition for his sterling work in helping to save the Albion.

I saw the bus in Hove on Saturday and it bought back a lot of memories.

Unfortunately, Roy himself will never see or ride on the bus.

In July, 2013, Roy took his own life.

He sent a number of us an email shortly before it happened, explaining there was nothing anyone could have done, his mind was made up.

But many times since I’ve sat and wondered if things might have been different had he spoken to someone and got help.

Just in the last week it’s been reported that England footballer Aaron Lennon is receiving help, and this week England cricketing legend Freddie Flintoff has spoken about his hopes that the word ‘stigma’ can be removed when talking about the delicate but hugely important subject.

Last October, I found myself in dark place, partially brought on by not grieving properly after my mother’s death, two of my closest friends suffering serious illness and a number of other everyday issues which, in isolation, would have been fine but together created a problem.

Thanks to the help and support of my family, friends, colleagues, my GP and Sam Woodman, the deputy editor of this newspaper, who allowed me to continue to write even though I wasn’t firing on all cylinders, I’m back where I want to be – and, as bad as I felt, better for the whole experience.

My perspective on life and what actually matters has changed drastically.

The point I’m making is that when I needed help and support, I got it.

It’s out there for anyone who needs it, you just have to speak up.

So if just one person reads this and gets the help they need then this will be the most rewarding column I’ve written in 15 years.

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