The family of a young dad who begged his loved ones to campaign for improvements to mental health care in his final letter have vowed to fight for change.
Ross McCarthy, 31, left a note asking his family to continue fighting for improvements in mental health care after he took his own life last month.
A just giving page was set up by his family in aid of mental health charity CALM, it has so far raised over £11,000. Ross, who was from Beauchief in Sheffield, leaves behind his three year old son, Charlie, fiancé Charlotte, 26 as well as his devastated parents and siblings.
Ross’ father, Mike McCarthy, 63 said: “Ross was kind, thoughtful, loving and would stand in harm’s way to protect others. He was the life and soul of the party”
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is a leading organisation against suicide with an aim to challenge male stereotypes and help people before they reach the point of crisis.
Mr McCarthy describes depression as a “cancer of the mind”. He said: “Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45 in this country. It was before COVID and is tragically likely to remain until we focus more time, energy and money on support.”
The family is urging politicians and health care professionals to question why suicide rates are so high and whether they are doing enough to prevent them. Mr McCarthy added: “It’s too late to help Ross but in our son’s name we want to try to help as many others who are suffering like he did as we can”
Friends of Ross have pledged to take on the three peaks challenge as well as the Sheffield half marathon and future fundraising events are planned for later in the year.
Ross was due to marry fiancé Charlotte last Christmas but was forced to postpone because of the pandemic. She described Ross as her “best friend, the love of my love and soulmate” and said he would’ve moved mountains for their son Charlie. Charlotte plans to change her last name to McCarthy by deed poll.
Mr McCarthy said to anyone with similar thoughts: “You are loved and valued far more than you realise. You deserve your special place in this world like everyone else. Please talk. If you stumble and fall please don’t give up”.
You can donate to Ross’ just giving page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/r-macca