By:
18-03-2016

Joey Essex Raises Suicide Awareness

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The story of how Joey Essex lost his mother at the age of 10 is tragic but far from being just another celebrity piece, it raises some serious issues.
First and foremost, the story is of a young child who lost a parent - a tragedy no matter what the circumstances. Then, some nine years later, he discovers that his mother's death was in fact a suicide and not an accident as he had been led to believe. Added to that shocking revelation, Joey is left to deal with the fact that his father had not been honest with him. The reality TV star has said that he thinks his father was trying to protect him but also that he was probably having difficulty himself in dealing with the circumstances of his wife's death. Was his father right to hold back the truth? For a ten year old child, losing a parent is devastating and difficult to come to terms with. Would knowing that she chose to take her own life have had an even more profound effect? On the other hand, learning the truth nine years on reopens old wounds, bringing back the original feelings of loss and grief.
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Suicide is something that thousands of families in the UK deal with every year. In fact the Office of National Statistics have reported that in 2013 (the latest figures available), the suicide rate was at it's highest level since 2001. This is probably one of the reasons there is public outcry for increased funding for mental health services. However, it is not just about preventing suicide, it is about providing support and advice for people struggling with the day to day stresses of life.
Joey Essex has said that he believes some of his learning difficulties may have been as a result of losing his mother at such a young age. If that is the case, it surely would not have been beneficial to him to learn immediately that his mother had committed suicide. However, had there been better mental health services available at the time, his father may have been in a better position to cope himself, as well as help his children come to terms with their loss.
Celebrities are often slammed for revealing facts about their personal lives and for trying to increase their public profile by generating headlines. However, in this case, Joey Essex has raised an important issue and no doubt many of the mental health organisations are grateful to him for his honesty.
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