The caring dad of a Morecambe teenager who took her own life has set up a peer support group to help other people.
Pud Waterhouse, his wife Lorraine, and ex-wife Ann and the rest of the family were all devastated after 16-year-old Sian Waterhouse was found dead in February this year.
Pud said: “Lorraine and I were doing a bit of work with mental health charity Lancashire MIND and it was brought up that this would be a good idea. I wanted the group to be in a relaxed pub environment for people to talk about what they are going through or have been through.
“The peer to peer support group which is for men only will be held on September 6 at The Cumberland View (back room) in Morecambe 6pm until 8pm. It will be an informal meeting with people who have struggled or are struggling.
“It’s all exciting stuff. Lorraine, Sian’s stepmum will be doing a ladies peer support group and we will hopefully do a younger version for teenagers. It’s going to be busy for us.
““It’s good to see the community come together and support us and talk about mental health.” Pud gave a talk at Morecambe Community High School where Sian was a pupil.He said: “It was more fitting for me to say something rather than someone from a charity. Bullying was a contributing factor in her death but it wasn’t the main reason. She wanted to go to a safe place away from being ill,self-harming, anxiety and depression. Sian’s kidneys and pancreas have been donated to help save someone’s life and after remembering how upset Sian got over an MHS student who did a talk about her life having no sight, we also donated Sian’s corneas. Sian was one in a million. That is another sad thing, she is my only daughter so I will never walk her down the aisle and she will never have children.It will always be there, we have to learn to live with it.”
After Sian’s death, her family held a ‘Shine for Sian’ ska and punk event at The Alhambra in Morecambe and also a family fun day for younger children. A cheque for £28.463.50 was presented by Sian’s family to Lancashire MIND, which the charity said was the largest single donation it had received in its history.
The next event will be a Shine for Sian free family fun day at The Cumberland View this Saturday, August 25, between 12pm and 4pm.
To find out about the men’s peer support group, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/233062410866568/ or for the women’s peer support group which is at the Park Hotel at the same time as the men’s group visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/466118770522486/.