Patti Boyle's Story
“Depression is a cancer of the mind, body and spirit," said Patti Boyle before she began her 400-mile walk from her son's grave in Burren to Westminster where she will petition MPs to support her call for websites promoting suicide to be banned.
“I watched a beautiful boy disintegrate. It takes hostages, tortures them and kills them. We need to burst through the taboo around the issues of suicide and depression, drag them to the surface and address them."
In January the body of her 26-year old son Kevin was discovered not far from his home in
The previous October, 101 days earlier, he had gone missing.
He was discovered beside a bag containing letters to friends and family and a so-called suicide kit that he had purchased online from a site promising "deliverance."
The same site offered tips and advice on ways to commit suicide.
Patti, whose husband's family is from Burren, said all that is needed to get rid of these sites is the political will to do so.
“Some people have told me that this can't be done, that you can't police the internet but that's not true, we have systems that check websites for copyright infringement, child pornography and information leaks.
“I've seen a lot of these sites; I've seen what they do. They make death seem like a solution, they make it seem inviting; they call it things like “deliverance”. Saying these things to someone in the wrong frame of mind can and does have tragic and irreversible consequences."
“But I can't just move on, every day I wake up and it hits me again that Kevin's gone and that there are still people out there promoting suicide and profiting from a person's death and a family's anguish.”
Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas met Ms Boyle when she arrived in Westminster on Wednesday 19th September to hand in her petition. He has thrown his support behind her campaign to pressure the Government into introducing legislation to ban websites which are deemed to glorify and promote suicide.
The campaign was brought to the attention of Jon Cruddas by a local Dagenham resident who had similar experiences to Ms Boyle.
Jon Cruddas MP
Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham commented:
“This is a very brave and admirable initiative by Patti who has suffered such a deep personal loss with the death of her son Kevin. The sale of these suicide kits online is a very worrying development. I will help Patti however I can to take her message to the highest levels.
“The high incidence of suicide in Dagenham and Rainham in recent years - in particular among our young people - is devastating the families and friends of victims and affecting the whole community”