One of the most tragic stories to have surfaced recently regarding former Love Island star Sophie Gradon and her boyfriend Aaron Armstrong, who both tragically took their own lives, bringing the mental health conversation to the forefront.
Unfortunately, a related story concerning Darryl and Dylan Smith, two brothers who were found hanged within a month of each other has been reported, and that the two had known Sophie and Aaron since childhood.
Darryl was the first to lose his life on June 13th, found dead at home in Blyth, Northumberland. Sophie then died on June 20th, and the body of her boyfriend was found at his home on July 10th. Now, Dylan was found hanged on July 15th.
Billy, the bereaved father of Darryl and Dylan, said to the MailOnline that: “They’d known each other all their lives. It’s simply tragic they have all died within such a short space of time. These deaths highlight the fact there is a mental health epidemic within young people.”
This story is a case of a suicide contagion, a term used to describe how contact with someone who has suicidal or self destructive thoughts increases that behaviour in vulnerable people. According to a study done by University College London, you are 65% more likely to attempt suicide if a loved one dies by suicide and not natural causes.
In this instance, it would seem that the death of Darryl has had the unfortunate domino effect that has also claimed the lives of Sophie, Aaron and Dylan. It proves that suicide does not necessarily end with the act itself and that more needs to be done to provide help and support to those caught in its wake.
If you’ve been having suicidal thoughts, or you know somebody who is, these are the numbers to call to get some help.
Samaritans: 116 123
CALM: 0800 58 58 58
Papyrus (for those under 35): 0800 068 41 41
Childline (for children and young people under 19): 0800 1111
The Silver Line (for the elderly): 0800 4 70 80 90