Case studies summaries


Brian, 50, from West Midlands

Things really started to go downhill for Brian when he got into debt, found out his partner of 25 years was cheating on him and suffered a heart attack - all within a short period of time. He became depressed and ended up going bankrupt. He felt his children would be better off without him.

Colin, 39, from Scotland

A culmination of life events led Colin to think about suicide. He lost his father suddenly to a brain tumour and had split from his partner of 6 years.

David, 55, from the North East

David’s dad drank a lot during his childhood and used to physically abuse his Mum. He suffered a brain haemorrhage in his teens which restricted him from playing sport and the type of work he could do. A few years later he started to have suicidal thoughts. He turned to Samaritans for help. After he got married, tragedy struck when his pregnant wife suffered a brain aneurysm, and both her and the baby sadly passed away. David turned to drinking. He is now married again but still battles with his drinking.

Ian, 43, from Wales

Ian had met the ‘love of his life’ then one day she was tragically knocked down by a car and died. When it happened, he didn’t think there was anything left. He turned to drink to try and forget the pain, but found it made him even more depressed. He attempted to take his own life.

James, 58, from Scotland

James’ partner was seeing people behind his back, and when they split, he had to fight a long, hard custody battle for his daughter. His ex had a good knowledge of the law and he says she “knew how to play the game.” Feeling like he was going round in circles, he could see no way out of it.

John, 55, from Wales

John’s first marriage was very difficult. A number of years into the marriage he had two children with his wife, but later found out that one of the children wasn’t actually his. Everything deteriorated and eventually they started divorce proceedings. It was long and drawn out, John describes it as “five years of hell”. He lost his business and started suffering terrible headaches. He went rapidly downhill and considered killing himself.

Lee, 40, from Ireland

Lee had always been self-employed but, 18 months ago, he found himself out of work. He had also recently lost his father who he was very close to. Lee got into gambling and ended up borrowing money off his mates. He felt suicide would be better for his family.

Phil, 32, from Ireland

Phil had never claimed social welfare until last year when he lost his job. He eventually got another job as his ex-boss was setting up another company, but he was never paid. He saw it as his role to finance the family home and look after the kids. With the bills building up, he pushed his boss to get paid, but was sacked on the spot. That’s when his suicidal thoughts began.

Bob, 44, from West Midlands

Bob had a difficult childhood and left school with no qualifications. He joined the army and was still in basic training when his wife became pregnant. One day he was out running and he suddenly passed out and discovered he had asthma. This resulted in him being medically discharged from the army. Later down the line, they tried to have more children but lost three through miscarriages. When his second child was eventually born he had a breakdown and thought of suicide.

Will, 43, from the North East

Will had always walked with a limp but doctors had told him it was arthritis. In his thirties, he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. It was a shock to his system because the realisation that he might end up using a wheel-chair hit. Talking stopped him from attempting suicide.