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David Sunley is raising money for MIND


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A heartbroken son is channelling his grief into fundraising in memory of his mum who took her own life aged 46.

David Sunley, of Churchill Way, said he and his younger sister Emma were oblivious that their beloved “happy-go-lucky” mum Sarah was depressed until November 3, 2012 – the day she killed herself.

His fundraising comes as Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged today (Monday) to transform the attitudes towards mental health.

David Sunley and his mother Sarah.
David Sunley and his mother Sarah.

Hoping to raise at least £1,000 for MIND – the mental health charity – amateur athlete David will be running every single day in January, rain or shine.

Dad-of-three David said: “We were never aware of any problems. She was always so happy-go-lucky. She was always helping people and put everyone else first.

“She even stopped working in the bank and started as a carer for Osborne Court in Faversham.

“She was there for everyone and was the mother hen of her family and friends.

“There was clearly something wrong but she never told us or anyone as far as we know." - David Sunley

“Up until the day she died, we were none the wiser.

“There was clearly something wrong but she never told us or anyone as far as we know.

“If I’m honest, it’s still a guessing game, but there was clearly something massive troubling her and she never thought she could tell us.

“Her death had a huge impact on our family.”

David, now 31, was 27 at the time and supporting his pregnant wife. His sister Emma was 24 and looking after her four-month-old baby.

He started jogging as a comfort in his grief soon after his mum’s death but discovered he had a hereditary heart condition and had to start taking beta-blockers.

This knocked his body for six and he couldn’t exercise for around 18 months.

David Sunley is raising money for MIND - the mental health charity - after his mother Sarah committed suicide.
David Sunley is raising money for MIND - the mental health charity - after his mother Sarah committed suicide.

David says this new challenge is a way of getting back into his fitness and giving something back to charity.

He added: “I launched the site just after Christmas so I thought people would be too skint and not interested in donating.

“I didn’t think there would be much interest at all.

“I set my target to £100 initially as didn’t want to be too greedy. Within 20 minutes I had hit my target and I now have around £600 so hope to raise around £1,000.

Sarah Sunley committed suicide aged just 46.
Sarah Sunley committed suicide aged just 46.

“Since my mum died I found everything very difficult. Losing a family member, you need something to channel something into to make good. I’ve been trying to find something and this seemed perfect.

“I have been overwhelmed with how much support I have had. I wouldn’t be able to do it without the support of my wife and family.”

David will be trying to run at least 5k every day and will use several routes around Faversham, sometimes joining his wife Nicola.

To donate to David’s fund, click here.

MIND provides advice and support to anyone experiencing a mental health problem.

The charity campaigns to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.

More information can be found by visiting www.mind.org.uk

If you would like confidential support on an emotional issue, call Samaritans on 116 123 at any time.

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