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Moray man hopes to use experience of son's suicide to help others


By Jonathan Clark

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Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SoBS) volunteer, Steve Ferrett. ..Picture: Beth Taylor.
Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SoBS) volunteer, Steve Ferrett. ..Picture: Beth Taylor.

A MORAY man whose world was turned upside-down by suicide is hoping to use his life experiences to help others through their darkest days.

In 2019, Steve Ferrett received an unexpected phone call from police. His son, Stephen, had taken his own life. He was just 27.

At a celebration of Stephen's life, in the chapel of rest, he promised his son he would not stop championing mental health.

Four years on, true to his word, Steve is a fully-trained volunteer with the Elgin branch of Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SoBS), who he said helped him through his worst days.

Steve Ferrett is hoping that people going through the loss of a friend or family member through suicide will come forward and attend the meetings. Picture: Beth Taylor
Steve Ferrett is hoping that people going through the loss of a friend or family member through suicide will come forward and attend the meetings. Picture: Beth Taylor

His hope is to reach people in Moray who are in a situation similar to the one he found himself in, to give them a chance to open up and speak to like-minded members of the community.

"It was getting in touch with Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide that really got me started on my journey towards looking forward to living again," Steve said.

"When I was going through the mill, SOBS gave me the strength I needed to try to move forward. Bereavement is always there, it's about how you build your life around it.

"We offer a group that meets, sits and discusses bereavement. Sharing with like-minded people who have gone through similar can provide hope and support.

"If we make somebody's life a little easier then we have done our job."

The Elgin branch of SoBS meet on the third Tuesday of every month at 7.30pm at a room within Borough Briggs in Elgin.

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SoBS) volunteer, Steve Ferrett, outside Borough Briggs where the group meets. ..Picture: Beth Taylor.
Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SoBS) volunteer, Steve Ferrett, outside Borough Briggs where the group meets. ..Picture: Beth Taylor.

There are currently only four members attending on a monthly basis, with others dropping in occasionally.

However, Steve is sure there are more people in Moray who would benefit from the service provided – and wants to make clear that all are welcome.

"We want to put the Elgin group on the map and let people know we are here," he added.

"There is a massive catchment area and I'm pretty sure there will be people who are suffering and requiring support. There will be people out there in a dark place and they need a chink of light.

"We let people talk, we listen and try to guide them as much as we can.

"People can stay at meetings as long as they want and say as much or as little as they want. Sometimes newcomers don't say a lot, but it is their choice and there is absolute confidentiality.

"All SOBS volunteers are well-trained and go through a rigorous screening process."

Contact with the group can be made through Steve on elgin@uksobs.org or by phone on 07754068529. Free tea and coffee, as well as cakes, will be offered at meetings.

For men who don't want to attend an in-person meeting, BereaveMENt – which meets on the first Tuesday of the month – offers a similar service online. Contact can be made with bereaveMENt@uksobs.org.

"Give me a ring, if you are ready, and speak about coming to either group," Steve, who is also involved with the online group, added.

"Support is there for the community – suicide is almost a taboo subject and we want to help people who are affected start to talk about it."


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