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Club News

EVERY LIFE MATTERS: Our support for World Suicide Prevention Day

We welcome some special guests today

3 September 2022

Club News

EVERY LIFE MATTERS: Our support for World Suicide Prevention Day

We welcome some special guests today

3 September 2022

Match Previews

MATCH UPDATE: Rochdale

1 September 2022

The club welcomes Every Life Matters, the Cumbria-based anti-suicide charity to Brunton Park at the game against Rochdale.

Click HERE for more information on Every Life Matters. 

You will see their partnership board located at the Waterworks End of the ground.

Every Life Matters will be visiting us to raise awareness around suicide prevention and support. Saturday 10 September is World Suicide Prevention Day and we wanted to use the football club as an outlet to reach many people who may have experienced suicide amongst family or friends, who are experiencing it now or may experience it in the future.

Every Life Matters are raising awareness, offering support, helping to identify the signs that a person may be considering suicide, and how to help them.

We have already had one session with Every Life Matters to discuss this issue and look forward to facilitating more in the future.

It is an issue close to the hearts of the Carlisle United Women’s Team, who attended that first session.

One such person was Lisa, who tells her story below, about the tragic death of her bother Stephen and what life has been like since he took his own life in 2015.

Match Previews

PREVIEW: Rochdale

1 September 2022

There will be information on the big screen during the lead up to kick-off on Saturday as well as beer mats in the bars with the contact details for Every Life Matters – if you think it will be useful, please take one home with you, it could be the best possible thing you do.

If you want more information, please contact Every Life Matters directly on 07908 537 541 or info@every-life-matters.org.uk – or Nigel Davidson at edi@carlisleunited.co.uk or on 07960 889 671.

Thanks for your support!

Chief executive Nigel Clibbens said: “The numbers of suicide deaths occurring in Cumbria is quite staggering, not least in young men.

“If the football club’s work with Every Life Matters saves just one life, then this will have been successful – of course we may never know if we have achieved this, so it’s important to keep spreading the message to your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours.  

“The Every Life Matters website has lots of useful information and links for anyone who needs help or support.”

Club News

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Click HERE for more information on Every Life Matters. 

EDI officer and fan director Nigel Davidson said: “It’s been a real eye-opener having discussions with Every Life Matters. This is something that has such a devasting effect on families, friends, colleagues, teammates and if we can help raise awareness and save lives as a result then the football club will have played a really important part in helping the Cumbrian community.

“We never truly know what is going on inside another person’s mind, so don’t stay silent, speak up, intervene, pass on information and help where you can, you never know how important it could be.”

Gabby Stephenson-Bell said: “Making the partnership with Carlisle United is a fantastic opportunity to reach so many people in the area, and we are really pleased to be involved with the club going forward to raise awareness about suicide and suicide prevention.”

Lisa’s Story

On the 10 November 2015, mine and my families lives changed forever. Unfortunately, on that day we lost my very handsome big brother Stephen to a demon that back then – not many people talked about; that demon was suicide.

I’m here to tell the story of my lived experience in the years that followed, the devastation losing somebody I looked up to my whole life like this causes, the grief, a grief so ferocious I thought that I wouldn’t survive myself. Losing somebody to suicide sets in motion a huge ripple effect, not the serene type of ripple effect that dropping a pebble into a pond creates but a nuclear bomb sized crater, a permanent whole in the lives of many people.

I’ll be honest, the first year after Stephen died is a blur. I was numb and a shell of the person I once was. We didn’t get a family liaison officer to help us deal with the fallout and trying to support two young children and my parents when I was broken myself felt like an impossible task. This all set off a chain of events impacted massively by a Bipolar diagnosis in 2014, a year before we lost Stephen. Through grief and being medicated I lost 4 years of my life where I was effectively unreachable emotionally to my friends and family as I found it extremely hard to differentiate grief from bipolar depression.

The grief experienced when suicide is a factor is unlike any other that I’ve ever experienced and still experience 7 years on. There is such a massive sense of guilt that plays a part, and the anger can become debilitating. Anger at myself, anger at him and anger at the mental health system. It wasn’t until I accepted that a – my grief would cycle for eternity, I just needed to find the tools to cope when things got tough and b – I learned to let go of the anger that I would actually start to rebuild.

In 2019 I took the brave decision to come off my medication and get myself back into full time work. Now bear with me as this was a process of rediscovery that I struggled with at times. I had to re-learn a lot of social skills and realise my worth. It was a little rocky to begin with, but I knew I had found my home with The Cumberland Building Society as they not only accepted me just the way I am, but they actively encouraged me to always be authentic which was a new concept for me.

In early 2020 I trained to be a Mental Health First Aider as I thought I had a unique view of mental health with me having a foot on either side of the fence so to speak, the perspective of losing somebody to suicide and the effects that can have and with being a sufferer of a serious mental health disorder. Little did I know that by training and being an active member of a team that has quite a pioneering approach to mental health in the workplace instead of being a tick box exercise – that this would unlock so many coping strategies for me on a personal level along with the pride of coming out the other side and doing something good for others.

Through my work with the society, I ended up doing a few side projects and finally discovered the amazing people at Every Life Matters. I first reached out last year to become a volunteer for the lived experience peer support group. Every single person who is involved with this charity has such care and compassion as they have all been affected in some way by suicide. What they do is worth so much to those either struggling with thoughts of suicide or who are dealing with the bereavement that comes after losing somebody in this way.  I really wish they had been around back in 2015 when I was in the early stages of my grief journey as I think things would have been very different for me.

In December 2021, we held our first suicide safer communities action group which has seen some quite phenomenal actions being carried out across the county. I and everyone else involved are very passionate to build on the great work that has already been carried out in the last year. By doing all of these things, I feel that it builds a legacy for my brother at the same time and helping people who really need it and to smash down the barriers of stigma that surround this topic. Unfortunately, suicide does not discriminate – it can happen to anybody. That’s why suicide needs to be everybody’s business.

If anybody can take anything away from this piece, I would like it to be that there is hope. Hope that no matter how horrific things are at first there is help out there and you can rebuild.

Lisa


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