Kevan Jones, Member of Parliament for North Durham, contributed to an Opposition Day debate on suicide prevention at Westminster on 6 February.

During his speech, Mr. Jones paid tribute to If U Care Share, an organisation based in Great Lumley. Mr. Jones said, “My constituency has a great organisation called If U Care Share, which was set up by Shirley Smith, whose 19-year-old son, Daniel, hanged himself a few years ago…He was, the family thought, a perfectly happy, contented teenager. The family then wondered what they could do.

“They set up If U Care Share, and Shirley, her husband, Dean, and their children, Ben and Matthew, go into schools to talk to young people about suicide and people’s feelings. People should not be ashamed to open up and talk about their feelings.”

Mr. Jones went on to stress the importance of talking about mental health issues and ensuring proper support is available to those who need it. He said, “The more we talk about mental health and the effect of suicide—not just on the individual and the lost opportunities for them and their family, but on society—the better we can draw up the systems to help.”

“There is nothing wrong about talking about mental health, or about people admitting that they need help.”