I don’t know whether I would have continued to drink myself to death or, if I would have taken my own life. But I wouldn’t be sitting here today and so I owe Lighthouse my life.
Warning: this story discusses suicide
Meet Jordan, a 24-year-old man from north Belfast. After his grandfather’s suicide six years ago, he spiralled into depression and started drinking frequently. On at least one occasion, he felt like taking his own life too. It prompted Jordan’s mum to phone Lighthouse, a suicide prevention charity supported by Comic Relief.
Jordan always looked up to his grandfather. He was his best friend and hero. For years, he was too young to notice his grandfather was battling alcoholism and mental health issues.
(Here, Jordan is played by actor Russell Tovey).
In 2013 – when Jordan was just 18 – he received a text from his grandfather. It simply said: “I’m sorry.” The following morning he went to his grandfather’s home, broke in and found him dead.
Jordan struggled to cope with the loss of the man he idolised growing up. He began drinking frequently and got picked up by police.
After one particularly difficult day, where Jordan attempted to take his own life, his mum rang Lighthouse, a charity supported by Comic Relief which helps people affected by suicide.
Lighthouse is a charity that supports people affected by suicide and self-harm in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Lighthouse helps people through counselling support, the promotion of positive mental health and support services for families bereaved by suicide.
Jordan says his case worker, Gary, and the group counselling services helped him open up. For the first time, he began to face his grief.
Since then, Jordan has rediscovered acting, a passion he had as a young boy, and now performs in amateur theatre productions around Belfast. He won an award for best supporting actor in his first play.
He's also taken a Lighthouse-supported trip to Switzerland to learn a programme of techniques called “Theatre of the Oppressed.” He hopes to use these to help other young people grappling with their mental health.
"You never really get over it, you just get stronger and you have to go through it. I do have bad days, bad weeks but it never puts me down for too long. I’ve built resilience through it.”