The sister of a Carrick teenager who tragically took his own life nearly ten years ago says that removing the stigma of suicide will save lives.
Sami Cullen, from Prospect, has welcomed the unanimpous support of Mid and East Antrim Council for mental health to “go up the political agenda”
DUP councillor Cheryl Johnston has urged the council to “push forward locally and regionally to get something done”.
However, Sami said that support must be “active and practical”.
Sami who is now a volunteer with the Lighthouse charity has urged anyone who may be contemplating ending their own life to seek help from charities such as Lighthouse, Lifeline or the Samaritians.
“People need to realise that they are so important,” she said.
“When people are in a bad frame of mind, they don’t realise their self-worth.”
Sami said that her family was unaware of any difficulties that Jay, a sixth former at Ulidia Integrated College, had been experiencing.
“Jay was aged 16. He had just started his A-levels at Ulidia. He was a Glentoran supporter,” she continued.
“He was my younger brother. There was just 18 months between us.
“One of those things about suicide is that we as a family did not know unfortunately until it is too late.
“If you know of someone who is suicidal, tell them to seek support,talk to a friend There is so much support out there.”
For those who have been bereaved by suicide, she says: “Do not be alone in your grief. Seek support if you need it.”