The family of a Chesterton mum who took her own life last April have raised more than £6,000 to help fund a mental health project launching this week.
Kelly Burndred, 37, was diagnosed with manic depression (Bipolar Disorder) when she was just 13 and lost her battle with mental health after losing 20 stone following surgery.
Her family set up Kelly’s Legacy in June, raising thousands for Younger Mind, part of North Staffs Mind, and their funding has helped pay for a new website, www.speakupspace.co.uk.
Speak Up Space, which launches on Thursday, February 14, at the Co-Operative Academy, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, will provide vital resources to young people across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, as well as an early intervention instant messaging service.
Kelly’s mum Doreen Moran, 61, said:
“Kelly had trouble with her mental health all her life, as well as weight problems. When she was 15 she was told she would never have children because she had polycystic ovaries. She was devastated, but later in life when she became pregnant with her partner Gareth everything changed.
“She went to college and university and in 2015 she had gastric bypass surgery and lost 20 stone. This was because her doctor told her that without the surgery, she would likely be dead by 40.
“Kelly wanted to live and had the surgery on the NHS because she couldn’t afford it – but after she was bullied through Facebook. People would send her hateful messages and she became even more depressed.”
Kelly’s Legacy was set up to help young people understand mental health and seek help earlier.
Mrs Moran said:
“We’ve been gobsmacked by the support and I’d sincerely like to thank everyone who has helped.
“We want young people to know it’s OK to not be OK and will be going into schools to speak about mental health and holding a festival in September.”
Ryan Smith, who has been leading the Speak Up Space project, said:
“1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem every year, yet most 12 to 18-year-olds don’t even know where to access support.
“Younger Mind chose to develop www.speakupspace.co.uk to offer young people a platform to view the different services and types of mental health support available to them, including self-help resources. The instant messaging service will empower them to access support from their phone without being overheard.”
The charity thanked Lymebrook Media for developing the site at a discounted rate and sponsoring the instant messaging service for 12 months.
The instant messaging service will be available on a Wednesday (4-8pm) and Thursday (4-9pm), where young people can have an online chat about anything that is affecting their mental health and/or emotional well-being. Further evenings will be offered in the future – see www.speakupspace.co.uk for more information.
To follow fundraising events, find Kelly’s Legacy on Facebook.