When suicide crashed into the world of Wakefield mother, Karen Sykes, on 22nd of April this year it was the last thing she expected of her beautiful, caring daughter Beth.

Now aware that in the UK suicide is the main cause of death of young people under 35, Karen is determined to do whatever she can to prevent other families enduring similar devastation. To raise awareness she organised one of the UK’s 300 plus October HOPEWALKS to support national charity PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide.

Starting from the Shepherds Arms, Cluntergate, Horbury, the approximately five mile flat route finished at the Dam Inn, Newmillerdam. People were welcome to join and leave at any point along the way. All were welcome including children and dogs.

“Beth’s suicide was totally unexpected: she hid her pain and trauma from us all,” said Karen. “At only 26 years when she died, she was our brightest star and her death has torn our worlds apart.

“As a proud and passionate occupational therapist, Beth loved her job and touched so many lives working to make a difference and help others, especially elderly patients and their families. We miss her so much, our lives will never be the same again.

“We organised this walk in the hope that we can raise awareness of the need to break the stigma, which I believe is preventing young people from seeking help. PAPYRUS is an amazing charity that works tirelessly to raise awareness and support young people through its HOPELINEUK helpline services.

Whether you joined the HOPEWALK or not you can support Karen’s campaign at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/karen-sykes10

4 comments on “Wakefield walk of hope to smash the stigma of young suicide

  1. Elizabeth Epps on

    Dear Karen, your story broke my heart and felt raw in so many ways. I can’t imagine your pain but can only explain my nightmare. My 17 year old daughter suffers with mental health and has tried to end it all. She is the last thing I think of before I go to sleep and the first thing I think of when I wake up. I always dread opening her bedroom room in case I’ve not been there to help her and to stop her doing anything. She is so beautiful and smart but is suffocated by her mental health. I would love to get involved with any event to try show Ellie there is light at the end of this dark tunnel. I’m so sorry your family has had to suffer from this demon but please carry on sharing your daughters story she was beautiful and her journey should be shared.

    • Karen Sykes on

      Dear Elizabeth
      I am so sorry for my late reply I have only just seen this. Thank you for taking the time to share yours and Ellie’s story I hope she is doing ok?
      Mental health is something that brings so much trauma and pain if I can do anything to prevent another young person dying to suicide I will. Take care and I am sending much love x
      Karen x

  2. Mr Gary Barton on

    My heart goes out to Karen and many others that have gone through this grief and upset in life. My youngest son Jack took his own life in 2016 aged just 21 and its turned our lifes inside out. Its fantastic to see you being so positive with all the grief etc going on in your life and i hope life may become a bit more easier as time goes on.Thanks again…………Regards Gary Barton.

    • Karen Sykes on

      Thank you Gary. I am so sorry for the loss of your son Jack. It’s so hard living a life without our children in it. So raising awareness and trying to reduce the stigma and helping prevent further deaths to suicide must be our aim.
      Take care


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