Stay in the sun when the sunshine is gone, and you will find that the sunshine lives within you.
"I'll be your candle on the water" Helen Reddy
Sunflowers was created in memory of Pete Morris who died by suicide in 2016. His family developed the Charity to walk alongside others bereaved by suicide and to be a small ray of light in the darkness; offering others comfort and support that is so desperately needed at such a difficult time. Sunflowers endeavour to provide other families with practical and professional support so they do not feel overwhelmed and alone. This we hope will give a glimmer of hope for the future.
Sunflowers also raise awareness around mental health and suicide both on social media and by networking locally and nationally. We deliver accredited training to the wider community and presentations sharing our story. We highlight that it is Okay to not be ‘Okay’ and the importance of talking and of course listening. We feel that everyone can play a small part in connecting with and helping others to feel less alone.
Pete had no history of mental illness and although he was feeling low from a recent relationship breakdown, he never indicated that he was struggling. He was a popular and charismatic artist who was due to start retraining as a primary school teacher. Pete had a wonderful sense of humour and everybody loved to spend time with him. He had an infectious laugh and a huge smile that always brightened the day of those who saw him. Pete was extremely close to his family and had a very strong network of friends that all loved him dearly. His suicide came as a complete shock to all who knew him.
After losing Pete, it quickly became apparent that there was not much provision or signposting to support after Suicide Bereavement in Gloucestershire – In particular, there was a real need for access to information and advice about the inquest and professional advice and support, especially to help work through the trauma. Suicide Loss it is a lonely and confusing journey and we do not want others to have to walk this path alone.
" Never in our wildest dreams would we have imagined Pete could contemplate doing this and everyday our reality of what has happened continues to shock us. We sadly learnt very quickly that Suicide Loss is a lonely and confusing journey which many have no understanding of. In our confusion we didn’t know where to turn or where support would come from. We were catapulted into having to cope with the pain, trauma and confusion of the situation alongside having to attend case reviews and coroners court. After all this was done, all that if left behind is a huge gaping hole and pieces of our lives that we needed to try to put back together. We may forever ask ourselves why? and battle with the “ I should haves” and guilt that we are left with. "
We exist to reduce the number of people who take their own lives in Gloucestershire. We aim to raise awareness of the stigma that surrounds mental health. To highlight and help others identify suicide indicators. We endeavour to equip individuals and the community with the skills to recognise and respond to suicidal behaviour. We believe that everyone can play a part in making Gloucestershire a suicide-safer community.
Our aim is to support any individuals living in Gloucestershire that have been bereaved by a suspected suicide and work to provide timely practical care and the best possible help to these individuals. We endeavour to signpost peoplw to further professional support and guidance.