Dad who shared son’s final text before suicide warns ‘going viral isn’t enough’
A heartbroken dad went viral after he shared the final text his son sent him before he killed himself – but he says online attention won't be enough to defeat Britain's mental health crisis.
Steve Phillip spoke of the regret he feels for not trying to help his son Jordan more in the years before his death, and shared the messages to push for more to be done for the mounting mental health crisis.
In the messages exchanged on December 3 2019, Steve texted his 34-year-old son to ask him if he wanted to chat.
"How are you doing today, would you like a catch up when I get back to my room?" he asked.
Jordan turned down the offer, explaining that he was a bit tired and asking if they could catch up another time.
"I'm gonna just have some chill time and get an early night," he replied.
But the next day Steve received a call from Jordan's girlfriend Charlotte with the terrible news that she had found him dead in his home in Harrogate.
The devastated dad's story was shared on LinkedIn as part of Mental Health Awareness Week last week.
The post has since gone viral, with over 100,000 reactions, 4000 comments, 800 connection requests and dozens of messages from people reaching out expressing their own need for support.
But Steve says that going viral isn't enough to combat the country's mental health crisis.
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In 2019 there were 5,691 registered deaths by suicide in England and Wales, equating to an average of 18 suicides per day. Suicide is the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the country.
After his son's death, Steve set up the Jordan Legacy CIC as a resource for communities, individuals and businesses to engage in suicide prevention strategies.
Steve said: "The post going viral won’t alter our current plans to roll out a number of strategies and plans for The Jordan Legacy although it did postpone a few actions as I’ve attempted to respond to many of the personal messages.
"What it did do though was significantly increase the visibility of our mission and led to some specific projects and partnerships, including being invited to speak at the Cabinet Office about suicide prevention.
Helplines and support networks
If you have been affected by any of the issues discussed in this article or need to talk someone, the NHS Choices website lists the following helplines and support networks:
Samaritans operates a 24-hour service on available every day of the year by calling 116 123, and an email service is available at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Childline, on 0800 1111, runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number do not show up in the phone bill.
PAPYRUS, 0800 068 4141, is an organisation supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.
Depression Alliance is a charity for people with depression. It does not have a helpline, but offers resources and links to other relevant information.
Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, have a low mood or are having suicidal thoughts.
Bullying UK is a website for both children and adults affected by bullying.
“We’re certainly better at talking about mental health but we still have a way to go to eradicate the stigma, especially around suicide.
"My hope is that in sharing Jordan’s story, creating his legacy and the great work companies such as Champion Health does, we can become a zero-suicide nation.”
For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email email@example.com, visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.
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