Student death prompts depression campaign

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The T-shirts to be worn by participants during the Liam Fletcher memorial walk © Raise Awareness For Depression And Mental Health Issues!!/Facebook

The T-shirts to be worn by participants during the Liam Fletcher memorial walk © Raise Awareness For Depression And Mental Health Issues!!/Facebook

A campaign to fight depression and mental health issues has been launched by friends of Liverpool John Moores student, Liam Fletcher, who committed suicide last week.

Liam, a 21-year-old Fine Art student from Belle Vale, was found by his mum last Monday.

Stephen Flanagan has since worked hard to establish a group known as ‘The Invisible’, to organise a memorial walk more events to remember Liam and raise awareness about depression.

The walk has been organised for Sunday November 1st at 6.30pm, starting at the ‘Bombed Out’ church, St Luke’s, on Hardman Street and continuing through the city centre.

Those taking part will be wearing specially made t-shirts, promoting the campaign. Stephen and his friends are also planning a boxing event, using local boxers from Liverpool.

Speaking to JMU Journalism Stephen explained his reasons for starting up the campaign. He said: “I knew Liam for about four years, he was a true gentleman, had a heart of gold and made you happy to be around and in his company.

“We’re raising awareness for Liam as he was a good friend and inspiration to many people who knew him. Also I want to raise awareness so people know they’re not alone and they can come forward in confidence and express their feelings.

“As boxing is a big hit with the people of Liverpool, and Liam also had a place in his heart for sports such as boxing, we hope to find a suitable venue as soon as possible and hope people will come forward to offer help to make this happen.”

The Invisible already has a strong presence on social media on Twitter, while the Facebook group has attracted over 3,000 members in less than a week and support and advice is being offered regularly.

Stephen, who admits he has suffered from depression himself, has urged anybody battling the illness to visit the Facebook page for help.

He added: “I would advise anyone to speak out and find the positives in life if possible, and most of all come forward to me and the group for support and answers.

“The good thing about it is that it’s online and they won’t have to face anyone in person.”

About Sam Davies, JMU Journalism