The latest figures from the Mental Health Foundation show something startling. The number one cause of death in young people aged 20 to 34 in the UK is suicide. These unsettling figures tell us that more needs to must be done to prevent young people from reaching the point of taking their own lives.
When the Hurst family lost Molly only a few months ago, through their grief they realised that they needed to take action and ensure more help is available for young people to support their mental health and wellbeing.
As a child, Molly was a typical child, cheeky and mischievous. From an early age, she showed what a caring person she was and enjoyed spending time with her family and made many close friends throughout her life. She attended Ridgeway primary school and was always the star of the school plays. Drama became a great love for her which she continued with throughout her education. In those first few years, there was no indication of the problems she would struggle with later in life.
During her time at Eckington School, her family began to notice her depression. This is when her family began getting help for Molly through counselling sessions.
After school, Molly joined Norton College to help her progress with drama and her dream of becoming an actress. Unfortunately, it was at this time that her mental health grew worse. Her family became aware that she was self-harming and she attempted to take her life. Molly was given more help and seemed to turn a corner.
Molly was accepted to the prestigious London Academy of music and dramatic arts (LAMDA) for a 12-month foundation course. She got help for the anorexia she had developed just before moving down to London for the course and became a healthy weight again.
However, when she was not accepted on to a three-year course at LAMDA or to other drama schools she applied to, she became increasingly depressed.
Molly’s mother, Linda said:
“Molly always tried her best to help herself, through various activities to improve her low mood. She joined Abbeydale Tennis Club and absolutely loved playing there. Due to her membership, she won tickets to Wimbledon 2016. She went with her dad Dave and had one of the best times in her life. One of my favourite photos of her is from that trip. She is wearing her Wimbledon hat and holding her Wimbledon glass.
“Outwardly, Molly appeared to her work colleagues, friends and on social media to be a beautiful, energetic, intelligent, happy and creative young woman. However, her inner struggles were concealed from most people. Molly was such a sensitive soul that she found emotional issues difficult and could not recognise her own worth.
“When Molly died, she was being looked after by mental health support teams and in hindsight, if we had been allowed to be involved in her care by the teams looking after her, we may have had more idea of the extent of what she was feeling.
“We as parents, feel that due to the lack of timely access to appropriate services and support, there is a need for local and charitable services to be funded to run alongside public sector mental health services.
“This is why we have set up a fund in memory of Molly in conjunction with local charity South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation. The Young People’s Health and Wellbeing fund will award grant funding to community organisations and charities supporting young people’s mental health.”
Local charity and community organisations are trying to keep up with the quickly rising need for their services. As public sector funding reduces many people are turning to charities for the support they are struggling to find elsewhere.
As this trend continues, the Hurst family hopes that the Young People Health & Wellbeing Fund in memory of Molly will help fund and resource these organisations so they can maintain their services and ensure that everyone who reaches out gets the best help available.
The fund will also enable anyone affected by suicide or who wants to make a difference to get involved. Through JustGiving.com anyone can donate to or fundraise for the fund programme.
“With everyone’s help we can make a difference, we can ensure the right level of intervention is there for those who are struggling like Molly was.
“If we can prevent anyone else from experiencing a loss like ours, we will have achieved our purpose.”