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‘This is not the end of your story’ Hopes that messages of support attached to Chesterfield bridge will deter suicide

The signs contain advice on where to seek help, as well as inspirational quotes.
The signs contain advice on where to seek help, as well as inspirational quotes.

Messages of support have been attached to a bridge over a busy Chesterfield road in the hope it will deter those struggling with suicidal thoughts from jumping to their deaths.

Residents at The Bircher care home wanted to raise awareness of mental health issues while reaching out to those affected with the handwritten notes, which have been secured to a walkway over the A61 bypass and include numbers for suicide helplines.

Lauren Clifton who has been making messages of hope and attaching them to a bridge since the suicide of her friend

Lauren Clifton who has been making messages of hope and attaching them to a bridge since the suicide of her friend

Lauren Clifton, a resident of the Gladstone Road based mental health care home, is the brains behind the project.

In the past, she contemplated taking her own life by jumping off the same bridge after the death of her close friend, who also committed suicide.

Lauren said: “I put the inspirational quotes and helplines up to reach out to others who may be thinking about ending their own life.

“I just want people out there to know that there is hope and a life beyond what they are currently feeling.

'I promise you one day that things will get better.'

'I promise you one day that things will get better.'

“Things will get better even though in that moment it may not feel like it and there is always someone out there who cares, whether it’s family or friends there is always someone at the end of the phone.”

Lauren is by no means the first to put her life on the line in this way-in October last year, former soldier Ben Elliott was talked down from a Chesterfield bridge by a taxi driver after developing PTSD.

In May, 33-year-old Craig Burr threatened to jump from a bridge over the Hasland bypass and later opened up about his battle with depression.

“I don’t want people to think that their only escape is suicide and being in that place is very dark and lonely,” Lauren added.

“I just hope that the quotes and helplines reach out to someone in their time of need and show them that there is hope, people who care and help out there for them.”

Care home manager Lauri Ragan said the project forms part of an initative that sees care home residents “giving back” to the Chesterfield community- they have also been litterpicking and making sandwiches for the town’s homeless.

You are not alone: https://www.samaritans.org/branches/chesterfield-samaritans