Heartbroken mum aiming to set up new buddy service to prevent teenage suicides
A heartbroken mother is urging people with suicidal thoughts to seek help and “don’t take no for an answer”.
Kerry Davies-Jones is campaigning to raise awareness of mental health issues and is aiming to set up a mentoring or buddy service for teenagers and young people who have problems.
She was stirred into action after her beloved son, Kale, took his own life a few days after Christmas in 2018.
The 20-year-old had been suffering from psychosis and was found dead in his flat in Amlwch the day after he had been sent home by doctors at Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor after an overdose.
Kerry will be talking about the issue in the first episode of Radio Fa’ma, a new S4C series produced by Caernarfon based production company Cwmni Da, from Amlwch which will be broadcast on Tuesday, November 8 at 9pm.
During a moving conversation with Radio Fa’ma, presenters Tara Bethan and Kristopher Hughes, Kerry speaks movingly about Kale and what happened to him
There is also an emotional interview with Kale’s grandfather, Pat Jones.
Kerry, 43, said Kale had joined the Merchant Navy after school and had travelled the world but had returned home to Amlwch.
She said: “Kale was ill and was hearing voices in his head and wanted to take his own life. On Boxing Day 2018 he went to hospital and waited there for several hours but was sent home rather than being admitted.
“The following day I phoned and phoned but there was no answer so a friend went to his flat and found his body.”
She said Kale had many friends and loved fishing and regularly went with his grandfather on his boat from Amlwch Port.
After his death, his name was included on the town’s fishermen’s memorial and Kerry visits every day.
She does not want other families to go through the same experience as her family.
Kerry said: “I want to raise awareness about suicide and publicise mental health. I’m hoping to start a mentoring or buddy service for teenagers.
” I’ve met Ynys Mon MP Virginia Crosbie and discussed it with her. She seems keen to see it move forward. I believe she has had a similar experience with a member of her family taking his own life.
“I just hope I can bridge the gap between the original referral and counselling sessions.
“Kale couldn’t get the help he needed and was turned away.
“If anyone else has the same issues they should speak to people. Carry on and push, push, push for help and don’t take no for an answer.”
Radio Fa’ma series producer Emyr Gruffudd said the programme is a chat show with a difference which visits different areas throughout Wales.
The presenters are Tara Bethan and Kristopher Hughes. Tara, originally from Llansannan, is an actress and singer and presenter of the ‘Dewr’ (Brave) podcast. Kris is originally from Llanberis but has been living on Anglesey for many years. He is a druid, writer and is just as well-known as his drag queen alter ego, ‘Magi Nogi’.
“They travel from place to place in a van towing a pop-up caravan which can be quickly and easily turned into a mobile radio station.
“Tara and Kristopher broadcast four live radio programmes from each location and chatt
ed with various people from the communities about experiences that have had an impact on their lives.
“The conversations are a mixture of the intense and the light-hearted and discuss all kinds of topics. As well as the conversations from the radio programmes there are portraits of the guests in their community, at work or at home, and each guest also has the opportunity to choose songs that are special to them.
Before each broadcast radio sets were distributed throughout the area and during the songs we have the opportunity to get to know more about each area and their residents”.
In the programme from Amlwch Tara and Kristopher also discuss mental health issues with Elen Jones. She suffered from anxiety and depression during a period of studying for exams at school and has been since blogging about her experiences.
She is now a student at Swansea University, but she revisited Ysgol Syr Thomas Jones in Amlwch to see her former teacher, Mrs Bethan Jones, who had helped Elen through the difficult times.
Others appearing in the programme are Amlwch-based paramedic Richard Owain Jones who speaks about his life-saving work and town postman Julie Ann who set up the charity ‘Caru Amlwch’ which has set up a thriving allotment scheme.
Janet Jones talks about the challenges of raising her son Sion Huw to live independently – he has Downs syndrome; Marcus Peachey is a musician, who does a lot of work at Tyddyn Mon, an enterprise for people with additional education needs and John Pritchard who plays ‘walking’ football for Wales and has been part of a team that won the World Cup in Zurich.
During the series Radio Fa’ma will also visit the Rhondda valley, Penygroes near Caernarfon, Nefyn, Newcastle Emlyn in Ceredigion and Ruthin.
The programme will be broadcast on S4C on Tuesday evenings at 9pm from November 8. English subtitles will be available and the programme can also be watched later on S4C Clic, BBC iPlayer and other platforms.