A West Norfolk woman is releasing an e-book about her father’s suicide to breakdown stigmas associated with mental health difficulties.
Charlotte Underwood, 21, from Lynn, is sharing her personal account of her father’s suicide to support those in a similar situation to her own or wanting to understand how suicide affects survivors.
Having made her own suicide attempt after her father’s passing, the young author hopes her e-book, After Suicide, will support someone through a tough time.
She said: “The advice I would give to someone who is going through a similar thing to what I went through is that you are not alone.
“There is a whole world of people out there who understand your situation, and who have open arms for you.
“It can feel lonely but, you are only one email or phone call away from talking to someone who understands, and use the internet to your full advantage.”
Mrs Underwood was 18-years-old when her father, Stephen Fox, took his own life and began writing about her suffering as a method of controlling her grief.
The young author realised she could combine her interest and life experience to support those whose lives have also been affected by suicide.
“I wrote my book after suffering from a massive relapse and leaving my job last year. I felt that I needed something to do but I wasn’t ready to get back into work,” said Mrs Underwood.
“I love writing, so after sitting down and starting many books, I thought about what is really in my heart and what it is that I want to achieve in my life and it just came to me.
“I wanted to use my story to help others learn about suicide and also know what it is like to be a survivor. I also wanted to give people help and support and let them know they are not alone.”
After Suicide details Mrs Underwood’s understanding of her father’s suicide in the months and days leading up to his passing.
It continues to discuss the difficulties her family faced following her father’s death, including, collecting his belongings, and planning and attending his funeral.
The book concludes with a detailed account of Mrs Underwood’s difficult grieving process, where she is now at in her life, and offers advise to anyone who is living through a similar situation to her own.
She added: “The biggest take away point of the book is that everyone will grieve differently. I can only speak for myself. The grief I felt will be very different to someone else’s as we are all individuals.
“However, it is important to know that, unfortunately, there are other people who have lived through similar situations.
“These people understand the roller coaster of emotions and the struggle to come to terms with understanding suicide. You do not have to be alone in your grief.
“I, myself, would love to be able to support as many people as I can, and I hope readers will feel free to message me if they want to talk.
“Grieving feels like the darkest time in your life, and it can be hard to see a future or feel human. But, I am living proof you can break out that darkness and embrace the fact that you are still alive and have a world of opportunities out there.”
Hoping to soon make her e-book accessible on Amazon in addition to its current availability on Smashwords, the young author hopes her story will help to save at least one person’s life.
“My aim in life is to do whatever I can to create more support for mental illness and get rid of as much negative stigmas as possible.
“I love to use my real life experiences to help people and let them know that they are not alone.
“If I can save only one person, I will be content with my life. But, I will never give up fighting for better support for those in need.”
To support Mrs Underwood in her battle to breakdown stigmas associated with mental health difficulties, and read her free e-book visit www.smashwords.com/books/view/732616.