Friend’s suicide inspires CDS colleague to set up mental health support charity

Posted: 17.02.2023

A CDS colleague, who lost a close friend to suicide, is setting up a charity to help other people struggling with their mental health.

Resourcing and retention manager Aleesha Heathcote, one of a number of CDS, Drax and Genex colleagues who recently took part in mental health first aid training, aims to create a ‘safe space’ for people suffering from poor mental health in which they can receive holistic therapies free of charge.

She aims to raise £5,000 to create the space and has set up a Go Fund Me page to which friends and colleagues are giving generously. She will run the non-profit organisation alongside her day job with CDS.

Aleesha said: “I lost a very close friend last year. He had been struggling with poor mental health most of his life and in the end felt he had no other choice but to take his own life. Following his funeral, I realised he brought together so many amazing people and I realised what we all need most in life is connection and community.

“Sadly, the NHS waiting list is extremely long. Suicide rates in the UK are the highest they have ever been. Just short of 5,600 suicides were registered in 2021 in England and Wales alone. My aim is to set up a non-profitable charity in the form of a holistic healing sanctuary, which gives those suffering from poor mental health a safe space to receive the support they need. I will not be charging clients for any treatments. People will have the option to donate whatever they can afford, and all donations will go to providing support for those in need.

“The service I want to promote will be a range of person-centred, holistic therapies, including men’s circles, women’s circles, sound baths, yoga classes, reiki and energy healing. It will encourage deep healing and transformation, blending physical and mental healing for mind, body and soul.

“I hope to raise awareness of mental well-being and help prevent any further loss of life. I want to use my experience in life to create a safe space where all are welcome.”

Aleesha adds that if she doesn’t reach her target all money donated will be given to mental health charity MIND.

Donations can be sent to Aleesha’s Go Fund Me page:

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