A young mum was found dead just hours after laughing with her children in the garden as she faced a “hidden battle” behind her brave facade.
Jade Roberts, 26, from Liverpool, has been described as a woman who “would do anything for anyone” and had “a heart of gold”, but was suffering with anxiety and depression underneath her smiles.
Now, her heartbroken mum Tracey says she is dedicated to ending the stigma over the “silent killer”, and said she had two choices when her “beautiful” daughter died suddenly and just hours after she was captured on video laughing with her children.
Tracey described her daughter as an “unbelievable mum” as “every minute of the day was dedicated to her children”, but she never realised the true extent of what her daughter was going through behind the scenes.
As Tracey herself spiralled deeper into a depression after Jade took her own life in April last year, she told the ECHO she could either “spiral further and give up” or make a positive change and “help others”.
With the help of her loved ones, the trained psychotherapist began the process of setting up a project in her daughter’s name.
The Jade Roberts Project will soon be opening its building at Merseyside’s 109 Rocky Lane which will help them provide workshops on anxiety, depression, suicide prevention and coping techniques as well as providing a counselling service.
Those in suicidal crisis can access the project through a referral.
“After losing Jade to suicide last year, I’ve never experienced depression like it,” said Tracey.
“I was stuck in my bedroom, crying all the time, no motivation. I was suffering PTSD, I wasn’t sleeping. My daughter had to basically look after me.
“I have a lot of resilience and I had two choices. I could either go further and give up, but I went with the other choice, to help. I don’t want anyone to go through the pain that myself and my family have gone through. The pain will never go away, I’m just learning to live with it.”
With the hope of ending the stigma and spreading the message that it’s okay to not be okay, the family say it feels like Jade is “still here” as they create a legacy in her memory and for her children.
Tracey added: “After that I lived in the library, I did a lot of research. There’s no help out there for people. I thought I have to change this. I truly believe everything I’ve learnt about the signs, all the knowledge I now have, Jade would still be here.”
A fundraising page was set up last year to kickstart the charity with the money going towards the renting of the building so people can attend when they are referred, as well as allowing the volunteers to get the relevant training.
But more needs to be raised to ensure the help can continue, and more training can be undertaken to help “save lives”.
The fundraiser, which will go towards training such as ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training).
Tracey added: “The more people trained in ASIST the more lives can be saved, but it’s over £100 per person. There’s a five-day course in October that’s £3,000 each but I truly believe with these skills, we can reach out to more.”
With the hopes of an open day on October 1 and the official launch of the project on October 3, Tracey is reaching out for more volunteers who are willing to help as well as support workers and counsellors. Those that are can email [email protected]
As well as a 10-week project focusing on mental health and a counselling service, Tracey has high hopes for the future in the form of a befriending service, yoga classes, walks in the park and hiring a minibus for days out. A billboard outside of their building will also spread the message that it’s okay to not be okay.
She said: “Suicide is a silent killer, you can’t see what’s going on in someone’s head. You can see a black eye or a broken leg and breaking that stigma, to me, is about more people coming forward and talking about how they are really feeling. It’s about making people feel listened to and giving them hope.”
After Jade’s death, tributes came pouring in for her, with the devoted mum described as a “caring and compassionate woman”.
Having this charity in her name is an “honour”, her family said, with Tracey adding: “It isn’t just a random project, it’s emotional because of what it stands for.
“But it’s in honour of my beautiful daughter to help people and save lives and while I’m doing this, it’s like she’s still here, her name is being mentioned all the time.”
In the hope of spreading awareness and raising further funds towards the project, Jade’s siblings Danni and Jake will be bravely taking to the skies on September 24 at 2pm for a skydive. Having already raised over £1,000,