P.E.A.C.H.Y. History

Douglas Moreton

Douglas Moreton 10/10/1984 – 02/07/2000
(Known to his friends as “Peachy”)

On the 2nd July 2000 Douglas Moreton took his own life by hanging himself. The horror of this event has left a permanent scar on the lives of his family and friends.

What went wrong? Why should a fifteen year-old boy consider that life was no longer worth living?

Douglas was suffering from depression. The problem with depression is that the symptoms are often subtle. The sufferer may not complain as they might do with other illnesses. Only those with regular and consistent contact may notice the early signs. The notion of a mental condition has a stigma attached to it and people are often reluctant to seek help as a result.

Douglas had low self-esteem and his illness had taken him to a place so dark, he took the only exit he could find. It was recognised that he had problems and advice was sought from the medical profession and other agencies. He had been taking medication for his depression, but after cutting himself, and having panic attacks, he was eventually referred to a local unit for an appointment with a specialist counsellor. The unit said he was not an urgent case. When his GP protested he was offered an appointment… for three months' time. Sadly he did not make it to this appointment.
  
Those that were bereaved by the death of Douglas started to find out more about child and adolescent mental health issues and were surprised to discover how widespread depression is amongst young people and the statistics for youth suicide quite frankly shocked them! They began to see that there is a frightening gap in general knowledge and awareness of these issues and that provision of services for sufferers is woefully inadequate and yet suicide is the second highest single cause of death in young people!

His parents said “All our newfound knowledge was too late for us to save our son, but we had identified an area of need that could possibly prevent another family suffering the same devastation as our own

And so the idea of P.E.A.C.H.Y. began.

“We want to make a difference. We want to fill the gap of ignorance. We want to see a reduction in youth suicide and we want young people to feel good about life and themselves. We want that there are services and support available at the time of need. We want to catch them before they fall