A DAD has shared his story about losing his son to suicide during Mental Health Awareness Week.

In the last 12 months North Yorkshire Police has recorded 32,117 incidents where mental health has been a factor - that’s up 543 incidents a month and 6,512 incidents in a year.

Police have shared the story of a Harrogate dad about losing his beloved son Jordan Phillip.

His dad Steve said: “You always think these things won’t come knocking on your door, 'it happens to other people' and then one day your world is shattered into a million pieces.

“In the days after we lost him, we huddled together as a family, sitting mainly in silence for the first few days and we cried a lot.

“24 hours before he left us, Jordan and I were texting each other. We’d been to a whisky tasting event a week before, and before that a concert together to watch one of our favourite bands, Hootie and the Blowfish.

“In the hours leading up to him taking his own life, I was delivering a social media training workshop in Solihull which was three-hour drive home in heavy traffic.

“The day before the workshop, Jordan and I suggested that we’d speak later that day, but after arriving at my Solihill hotel room later that evening, we decided we’d catch up another time as it was late and Jordan was tired.

“I could have done better, I could have been less busy, I could have insisted we speak or just simply called him... I didn’t. These are my torments but inside, part of me knows he knew we cared, we did do as much as Jordan would let us do.

“What I mean is, Jordan chose to protect us from his worst torments, and we felt that if we pushed too much he would pull further away. Hindsight is a wonderful thing they say.

“Jordan was a son, a brother, a stepson, a stepbrother, a loving boyfriend, a grandson, an uncle, a cousin and a best friend. He was tall and handsome and turned many a head, male and female.

“His friends both loved and envied him. At his funeral they described Jordan as; well-mannered, a great listener, kind and considerate, intelligent, cool but humble, ridiculously handsome, a true gentleman, humorous.

“Jordan was the kind of person who would stop and chat to homeless people and to local strangers – only a few days before he left us, he’d stopped to speak with an elderly lady who was sweeping leaves from the public pathway in front of her house. He told her what a good job she was doing.

“Jordan was also strong – he’d battled with severe depression for many years.

“He loved his family and his friends so much that he would often protect them from the ultimate depths of his despair, but he was always there for them, no matter how difficult his day was.

“There was nothing selfish about Jordan.

“If I could give any advice to anyone it would be look after those around you, listen to them more, be there, don’t be scared to question the signs you see and ask the difficult questions…

“You might just make a difference by doing so.”

Mental Health Awareness Week started on Monday through to Sunday (May 16). 

It is an annual event when there is an opportunity for the whole of the UK to focus on achieving good mental health.

The Mental Health Foundation started the event 21 years ago and the event has grown to become one of the biggest awareness weeks across the UK and globally.

Sergeant Elaine Malcolm of North Yorkshire Police’s Partnership Hub and lead in force for Operational Mental Health & Suicide Prevention said: “A life is lost through suicide every two hours in the UK, but suicidal thoughts and feelings affect thousands of us every single day. That’s why it is so important that we talk about suicide, end the stigma that surrounds it and also why we are supporting Mental Health Awareness Week this week to focus on and encourage conversations around achieving good mental health.

“Our thanks to Steve and his family for letting us share their story. They have set up a brilliant resource called The Jordan Legacy in his memory to help as many people as possible to make a different choice than the one Jordan felt he had to make on that day in December 2019. You can find it online at: thejordanlegacy.com.

“Whether you’re concerned about yourself or a loved one, these mental health charities, organisations and support groups can also offer expert advice: Get help from a mental health charity helpline – NHS (www.nhs.uk).”

“It’s okay not to be okay and you are not alone.”

Champion Health have recently published a suicide prevention guide - for more information and to download the guide click here.