The LJWB hosted two performances of Brian Daniel’s emotional play, Sound of Silence.
The Leeds Jewish Welfare Board was delighted to support two performances of Brian Daniel’s play Sound of Silence. This powerful play was inspired when Brian heard about the suicide of a young father from Yorkshire. Ross McCarthy was just 31 years old when he took his life, after a ten-year battle with depression that ended with him being allocated to a six-month long waiting list for treatment.
Suicide continues to be the number one cause of death among adult men under 50 in the UK. Globally, the World Health Organisation estimated that in 2019 one person took their own life every 40 seconds. Members of the audience, many of whom had personal experience of suicide in their own family or friendship networks, were able after the performance to discuss their personal experiences and chat with both Brian Daniels and the father of Ross, Mike McCarthy. The play raised a lot of issues for people in the audience and led to discussions about being able to access appropriate services in a timely manner.
Mike spoke movingly about his loss and his desire to turn Ross’s death into something positive and prevent more families experiencing such devasting loss. Mike has launched the Baton of Hope | It’s Time To Start The Conversation (Batonofhopeuk.org) campaign to highlight male suicide across the UK. #BatonofHopeUK is designed to be the biggest suicide awareness and prevention initiative the UK has ever seen, opening up necessary conversations and prompting appropriate actions. The specially designed baton will tour the UK in Summer 2023 raising the profile of this issue like never before.
Elizabeth Bradbury CEO at LJWB said: “Through LJWB’s work supporting people with mental health illnesses and families experiencing loss we know how important it is to get people talking, finding out how they are and offering help and support. Not just those who appear to be in crisis, but everyone, so that we can all be part of the conversation to help each other and prevent more suicides.”
If you, or anyone you know is in need of any help or support please call the LJWB Helpline on 07812 753 575