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How many people does it take to transform mental illness?

Trigger warning: reference to suicide

Right now, there are three people who can make a difference to mental illness. A difference to the way it’s perceived, the way it’s treated and how we live with it.

The first is Edward Mallen. You might have read his story in The Telegraph, Daily Mail or seen him on the BBC. The son of loving parents, Edward excelled at his junior and senior schools and was delighted to be accepted into one of the most coveted Universities in the country, if not the world, Cambridge.

But just a few weeks after being accepted into Cambridge, Edward sadly took his own life, just 300 yards from his loving, stable home, where his family have been left devastated ever since.

“I would tear open the sky to bring my son back…” his Dad Steve told the Daily Mail.

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In just eight short weeks Edward had moved into a deep depression that no one around him could help with. His story is moving, sometimes beyond words. But his family are not rare, there are families like his all over the country – devastatingly, each year 7,000 people in the UK take their own lives.

Edward Mallen sadly died by suicide a few years ago, now his dad campaigns for better mental healthcare

Edward Mallen, son of Steve Mallen

It’s a national tragedy. But there are people who are working tirelessly to improve the futures of those facing mental illness; and Edward’s Dad, Steve, is at the vanguard:

"My own personal journey, in terms of mental health, really stems back to when I stood next to my son’s coffin in church… I made a public promise that day that I would investigate what had happened to my dear son and I would seek reform on behalf of his generation."

Professor Rory O’Connor is the second person who can make a difference to mental illness. Rory is someone who has the ability to change the outcomes for so many young people and their families.

Rory and his team - funded by MQ - are testing a promising new programme for health and social care professionals, to help them prevent young people dying needlessly by suicide. He’s using a technique developed in the US called ‘safety planning’, which has seen promising results he hopes could help thousands of people at risk of suicide in the UK.

But Rory knows more needs to be done outside of his research:

“It’s really important to get the message out there that suicide can be prevented and mental health problems can be treated… but one of the biggest barriers we are facing is funding for mental health science – it’s just not out there.”

Believe it or not, Edward and Professor O’Connor need one other person to change things. That third person is you.

By donating to MQ today you can help fund vital research like Rory’s, researching innovative treatments for people like Edward.

We agree with Steve when he says:

“I see no reason why, with a serious injection of resources, we can’t begin to make similar progress in many areas of mental health that we’ve seen in physical health. I just don’t buy that this is an intractable, insoluble problem.

That’s why I’m ardent in my desire to support MQ in its calls for increased funding for mental health research.” 

Losing one life to suicide is a tragedy, losing 7,000 each year is a disgrace.

Please help us take this tragedy on by donating whatever you can afford today.

Help transform mental health

By donating to MQ today

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© MQ: Transforming mental health 2016 | Registered charity in England / Wales: 1139916 & Scotland: SC046075 | Company number: 7406055