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Devastated son releases film on suicide after his mother took her own life

PUBLISHED: 07:30 06 December 2018 | UPDATED: 13:06 06 December 2018

April Archer and her son Jamie. Picture: Archer Family

April Archer and her son Jamie. Picture: Archer Family

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The sudden death of a much-loved mother left friends and family facing the “worst pain ever” in July last year as they continue to come to terms with their loss.

April Archer. Picture: Archer FamilyApril Archer. Picture: Archer Family

April Archer was 48 when she took her own life at her Halesworth home on July 15, 2017 after silently suffering from depression.

Now, her media production student son Jamie Archer has gone in front of the camera in the hope that his pain saves other families similar heartache.

He said: “My mum was truly the best person ever. Growing up, Dad was at work and we bonded when I played football on weekends, but mine and Mum’s time was every day. I was very much a mummy’s boy and she did everything for me and put me and my brothers first. We never went without.

“I had the best upbringing that I could want. In the past, my brother and I suffered from health problems and spent time in hospital, and she was always there for us at our bedsides. She was lovely and humble and always had a smile on her face.”

The news devastated the family while Jamie and brother Brad and their girlfriends were at Latitude Festival.

Mr Archer said: “That was the worst pain I have ever felt and when I think about it now, the pain comes rushing back.

“That morning, we went off to Latitude Festival and said goodbye to her.

“I had no signal at the festival and when we were leaving, all these voicemails started coming through from my dad. I rang him and I don’t know why but I asked if something had happened to mum.

Winter Youth Pictures: Naomi Lawson, Harriet Richardson, Jamie Archer, Georgia Alliston, Tyler Southam. JAMIE ARCHERWinter Youth Pictures: Naomi Lawson, Harriet Richardson, Jamie Archer, Georgia Alliston, Tyler Southam. JAMIE ARCHER

“My mind had jumped to the worst case scenario and I was thinking had she fallen down the stairs or had a blood clot, and I stood there telling myself of course she was alright.

“My dad came to pick me up and took me to one side to tell me. It was a complete shock to me and everyone who knew her.”

Along with brother Daniel and father Lee, the family have spoken of their continued grief as part of a documentary project.

As part of Winter Youth Pictures, the University of Lincoln student has now released ‘Silently Loud’, a film produced to raise awareness of depression and suicide.

The 20-year-old said: “She had an accident around Easter time after she fractured her pelvis. She was always very active but she had to be in a wheelchair for a few months and we believe she became depressed.

“Since she passed, I knew I wanted to do something to raise awareness. There has been more done lately and we are starting to break the stigma, but I had no idea what to look for and I truly feel if I had seen a story about someone, maybe I would have thought if she was okay and checked up on her.

“Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

“I never want another family to go through this. Maybe someone who watches it is feeling depressed, or recognises someone they know seems depressed, and they reach out for help.

“So many people loved her and she had friends and family to talk to if she asked.”

Since being released on Facebook at the end of last month on Friday, November 30, the film has been viewed more than 10,000 times.

Mr Archer said: “The response to the film has been overwhelming. I would like to think she would be proud. She would always support what I did and she was always asking about my work.

“I don’t know if there is an afterlife but I think she would be happy that I am trying to make sure other families don’t go through this.”

To view Silently Loud, go to www.facebook.com/winteryouthpictures.

Wellbeing Norfolk and Waveney, and Wellbeing Suffolk, can be accessed by calling 0300 123 1503, or visit www.wellbeingnands.co.uk.

Alternatively, contact Samaritans on their free helpline by calling 116 123 from anywhere in the UK.

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