Tel: 01636 555033
We've Got Newark and Sherwood Covered


A message of hope on World Suicide Awareness Day

Posted onPosted on 10th Sep

Coun Scott Carlton recounted his story to help others and raise awareness as part of World Suicide Awareness Day today, 10th September.

He said he wanted people suffering with mental health issues to try to focus on hope and know that things will one day get better — and to send a message of hope to people going through a difficult time.

Scott represents Clipstone and Edwinstowe on Newark and Sherwood District Council and is vice-chair of the Adult Social Care and Health Committee on Nottinghamshire County Council, where he is part of the Sherwood Forest Division.

He said: “I had a number of mental health issues in my early 20s which affected me for a couple of years while I was away at university.

“This followed a relationship breakdown that spiralled into periods of self-harm.

“I felt like I was operating in a fog. I probably existed for about a year suffering in silence and functioning but keeping the whole thing under wraps. I was aware that there were services there to help me, but it was like I couldn’t access them.

“There were stigmas at the time about men admitting to mental health problems.

“One of my close friends started to pick up on the early warning signs and she did come to me for a chat and ask if I was OK. My automatic reaction was to put the barriers up and say I was fine.”

There were 199 deaths by suicide in Nottinghamshire between 2017 and 2019, but there is help out there.

Scott explained how he found a way of coping.

“I was like a bottle of pop with the lid screwed on and it finally broke. I completely lost it at one point and broke down during a lecture in front of 50 people,” he added.

“After this happened, I finally got support from someone in the multi-faith chaplaincy team at Derby University, who I fondly refer to as ‘Sister T’.

“I still found it difficult to speak about my problems in the early stages. She taught me how to focus on hope and imagine a small candle in the distance that is getting bigger — a technique I still use now.

“She also helped me to use coping mechanisms. I love cooking, so if I’m feeling down, I’ll go and cook something. I owe her a great deal.

“Sister T suggested I did public speaking about my mental health issues and this gave me something to focus on as part of my recovery.

“I now want to use my experience to let other people know that there is a way out of the fog.

“If you have been made redundant, had a relationship breakdown or another traumatic event, it can be difficult to see a way out of how you are feeling. But try to focus on hope and know that things will one day get better.

“Try to find someone you can speak to — either someone you know or one of the many support services available. Don’t ever think that you are on your own.

“If you are worried about someone’s mental health, just asking if they’re ok and then asking again if they’re really ok can make a massive difference.”

You can find information and support services about suicide and mental health at