Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Bungee for Ben

As you may know dear reader, I lost my beloved only son Ben in June 2012 as a result of his mental ill-health. 
With regard to my Ben’s illness - I don’t feel it is something I can speak about with any knowledge - I understood so little of what he suffered. I only know his doctors thought he suffered from a form of psychotic schizophrenia - to him a terrifying mental illness that made him very, very afraid. Ben was in the Mental Health Unit at the local hospital when we lost him. We took him there as we felt he needed better help than we could give him - sadly for us - it didn't help.

Both sufferers and their loved ones can feel helpless in the grip of this terrible illness - and it is a KILLER. It killed my son as surely as any physical illness claims its victims. I can only speak of the treatment offered my son - and maybe there is a lot more support for sufferers than I am aware of - but it seems to me treatment for the whole range of this terrible illness does not necessarily help its sufferers - being "doped up" on medication so you don't feel much, is at best a half life - and so we need research into better and more effective treatments, more and improved support and for sufferers and their loved ones - and we really, really need to remove the stigma attached to all forms of mental health issues. 

With this in mind my son's friends and his sister are doing their small part to try to both raise awareness and raise some money for charities which are trying to do the same, by doing a Bungee jump for Ben. My son would have been the first to sign up to do this for others. The money these amazing young people raise with their bungee jump is all going to charities which are fighting hard to get better treatment for sufferers and fund research into its causes.  They are doing their best to raise awareness It isn't a charity which attracts a lot of funds - there are no cute pictures of sweet, large eyed puppys on their posters, or pictures of brave and handsome lifeboat men to attract support - but it is a charity which really needs funding - because this illness has the potential to affect anyone - regardless of age or gender or home circumstances - - -

Rhiannon is fundraising for Rethink Mental Illness and Praxis Care - a local charity which works with young men suffering like my Ben.

Charities chosen were to reflect our loss and also a hope that maybe some of the funding will help someone else - and prevent another family suffering a similar loss and daily pain you have to learn to live with. Our National Health Service is stretched to the limits - Mental Health probably comes quite away down on a list of priorities - and as it is not really a “visible” illness - therefore possibly a hidden epidemic?? We "Human Beans”  are not very good at dealing with what we don't understand. Perhaps the young people doing this will generate a bit of discussion about this dreadful illness - and help to remove some of the stigma attached to it.

    Mental health is - in my opinion essential, to our wellbeing - we cannot function when our heads are “messed up” in any way, small or large. This is a terrible illness - it can and does affect ALL ages in many ways we don’t realise - it is still hidden away because of the stigma still attached - our lack of understanding makes us afraid, embarrassed or uncomfortable with sufferers of this illness - yet nevertheless - its a killer - and is totally destructive - to its victims and their families. And it is really , really hard to help someone who doesn’t appear to be helping themselves!! (and I would put money on EVERYONE knowing someone whose life has been affected by it  - be that a family member, a work colleague, a friend, a schoolmate - - - -)

Every penny will help - if you feel you could support them you can make a donation at Just Giving, there is a link under Ben's photo below, and on the sidebar. And if you do -  THANK YOU - from the bottom of my heart.

Rhiannon is fundraising for Rethink Mental Illness and Praxis Care - a local charity which works with young men suffering like my Ben.

I am sorry - I seem to have got onto my "hobby horse" over this, but as you might imagine - I do feel very strongly about it.

If you have got this far - thank you very, very much for reading - normal service resumes next post!
'til later
Bannaghtyn J x


  1. Your energy and concern comes through loud and clear, and I am so sad to read of his and your pain in all of this. Hoping that the doing of something practical will help in some way to ease the suffering of others. You are in my thoughts ...

  2. You are right about mental illness being often forgotten, because it isn't seen...I hope you find some solace at the thought of being able to help others in this way. You are often in my thoughts
    Alison xx


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