A Liverpool charity has made a moving display to highlight the issue of child suicide.
Chasing the Stigma, a charity aimed at normalising and raising awareness of mental health problems, displayed 226 pairs of shoes on the steps of St George’s Hall in Liverpool to represent the number of children lost to suicide in 2017.
The charity teamed up with radio station Radio City Talk, who will be doing a special segment on ‘lost childhoods’, to mark the start of Children’s Mental Health Week with the heartbreaking display.
‘To mark the start of #ChildrensMentalHealthWeek Chasing the Stigma have teamed up with @RadioCityTalk for a “lost childhoods” #MentalHealthMonday special,’ the organisation wrote on Twitter. ‘These shoes on the steps of St George’s Hall represent the 226 school children who lost their lives to suicide in 2017.’
They added: ‘Working with amazing charities and organisations such as @PAPYRUS_tweets and @YPASLiverpool the show will be broadcasting live from the steps of St George’s hall from 11am – 3pm on @RadioCityTalk. @Jakemills1 will be joining @MrMickCoyle for the entirety of the show.’
The poignant image has been shared more than 16,000 times on Facebook and Twitter since it was first uploaded at the start of the week, with social media users commending the charity for raising the issue in such a powerful and hard-hitting manner.
‘That statistic is beyond words, suffering in silence should be no more, times are changing and mental health issues are becoming more and more apparent, the sight of those shoes really does embed an image in your head and heavy on your heart,’ wrote one Facebook user.
‘Seeing all those little shoes belonging to somebody’s children brings tears to my eyes,’ added another. ‘Take care and look after your own children x’.
Many others commented, writing: ‘Wow that’s powerful and absolutely devastating’, ‘This is so bloody powerful’, ‘Hard hitting this one..poor souls xx’, ‘I totally applaud this campaign…..It needs to be hard hitting…..So thank you’ and ‘I can hardly look at this. So so sad.’
‘This is heart breaking but I’m pleased that it’s now being highlighted just how many school children struggle mentally,’ commented another. ‘Hopefully they can find the help they need. X’
If you are struggling with any of the issues mentioned above, visit the NHS website to explore the mental health services that they offer in your area.