Suicide agony sparks mental health drive — (The Glasgow Evening Times)

SSRI Ed note: "Popular, ordinary", successful young man is depressed, goes to GP, gets antidepressants, becomes dramatically worse, dies by suicide. Depression blamed.

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The Glasgow Evening Times

Publication date 17/05/07

A HEARTBROKEN sister told today how her family have launched a drive to save lives – after losing her young brother to suicide.

Carl O’Shea was just 25 when he killed himself after suffering depression last year.

His devastated family decided they wanted something positive to come out of the tragedy.

So they set about raising awareness of suicide among young men – and cash to help people at risk.

Already they’ve raised £38,000 for the Scottish Association for Mental Health.

They organised a range of activities including a five-a-side football tournament, sponsored runs and a ball at Oran Mor.

Carl was a chartered accountant with a girlfriend of 10 years when he was struck by depression.

His sister Kirsten Clark, 28, said: “Carl was popular, he had lots of friends, he was just an ordinary person. He’d been travelling around the world.

“We need to get the message across depression is indiscriminate.

“It doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, loved or lonely, anyone can become depressed.

“We need to keep talking about it. It’s the best way you and I can make a difference.”

She told how in September 2005 Carl had an acute breakdown.

“We had known he was suffering with depression before that and he’d been to his doctor and got anti-depressants.

“But he was taken to hospital in November and was in Hairmyres Psych-iatric Ward so we knew he was very ill.

“After he died we wanted to do something positive.

“It started with a website I set up for people to make a donation in respect of his birthday and it spiralled from there.”

Suicide is the most common cause of death in men aged under 35 in Scotland.

Carl’s whole family, who are from Uddingston, including his parents Maureen and Nick and brother Chris, have joined together to help raise money as well as aiming to make people more aware of depression and mental health issues.

SAMH chief executive Shona Neil said: “The initiative and drive the O’Shea family have shown following Carl’s death has been inspirational.”