Support group helps King’s Lynn man come to terms with family tragedy

John Bell, from King's Lynn, pictured with his father who took his life in August 2015.

John Bell, from King's Lynn, pictured with his father who took his life in August 2015. - Credit: Archant

There's one phone call that John Bell will never, ever forget. It was his sister with the devastating news that their father had taken his own life. Almost a year on, the factory worker has bravely spoken about how a support group that meets in King's Lynn is helping him come to terms with the suicide.

Jacqui Page is setting a up a charity at Wells Community Hospital to help people cope when someone c

Jacqui Page is setting a up a charity at Wells Community Hospital to help people cope when someone close to them has committed suicide. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

Mr Bell has been a regular at the Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS) meetings since his father, also called John, took his own life last August.

Overwhelmed by what had happened, he stumbled across the support group online and went along to their next monthly meeting.

Mr Bell, 37, of Guanock Terrace, in King's Lynn said: 'I'll never forget that first phone call with the news about dad.

'Initially, it was the shock about what had happened. My parents and the rest of my family live in Scotland, and I rushed up there as soon as I could.


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'I stayed for the funeral but I really struggled when I came back to Norfolk. I was feeling so low that I was even considering ending my own life - that was my wake up call to seek help.'

'I then found out about SOBS, sent and email and within hours someone was there guiding me to resources and help available online to help me cope, including a film called 'Life after Suicide'.'

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He added: 'It was reassuring to learn that others who have also lost loved ones through suicide experience similar emotions.

'The guilt of not being there for dad when he needed help most; the anger I felt towards him for selfishly taking his own life; and also the pain it had caused everyone who loved him so much.

'Then the monthly SOBS meetings are another layer of support because you get to know others who live locally that are going through what you've been through.

'In the future, I would like to become a volunteer and help support people who sadly find themselves dealing with the heartbreak – maybe my personal journey after losing a loved one to suicide will help guide others through theirs.'

Jacqui Page leads SOBS groups across Norfolk. Her last meeting in King's Lynn was the nine year anniversary since her own son, Simon, took his own life aged 26.

For more information about the organisation in Norfolk and how it can help, contact Ms Page on 07771 544 291 or email sobs.norfolk2@gmail.com.

- Is there a local group that has helped you through a difficult time? Email louise.hepburn@archant.co.uk

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