Friends of St Albans suicide victim Morgan take to the skies in his memory

PUBLISHED: 18:00 20 August 2016

Morgan Falconer, 15, was in year 11 at Sandringham School

Morgan Falconer, 15, was in year 11 at Sandringham School

Archant

Nearly a year after a teenager killed himself, his close childhood friends are taking to the skies to raise money for a charity set up by his father.

Something to Talk About...Something to Talk About...

The OLLIE (One Life Lost Is Enough) Foundation is a charity that focuses on educating the public on the warning signs of mental health issues. The charity was set up last year after Morgan Falconer’s death, by three parents who have lost their children to suicide including Morgan’s father, Stuart Falconer, and is supported by the Herts Advertiser through our Something to Talk About... campaign.

Now, Morgan’s school friends, Thomas Logan, Gregga Mitchell, and James Hawkins, will be taking part in a skydive to raise money and awareness for the foundation.

And while they’re all nervous about the dive, it is particularly scary for Thomas who has never even stepped on a plane before.

He said: “It is something that not everybody gets to do, and it has obviously got that fear factor, for me especially.

“It is not something that I’m going to enjoy before it happens. It is not something that I’m going to go ‘this is going to be okay’. There’s going to be that tension that’s always there.”

He continued: “It shows that I can help people going through the same thing even if I couldn’t have noticed it with my friends. I can be part of the movement.”

Thomas reminisced about his friend’s bubbly personality and kindness. He continued: “Morgan was that very confident character; he would always enjoy interacting with people. When we’d have life long learning as a form, there would always be these projects in a group and whoever worked with him would have to stick his name, like “Morgan Falconer and others” on it. He was always that person that enjoyed being there.

“There wasn’t really [any indication that Morgan was unhappy] because I interacted with him that night before and it just didn’t seem to be that off, just seemed to be a normal conversation.

“I think the foundation is important because it gives services to people who can recognise the symptoms of suicide and prevent it.”

The Foundation aims to increase the number of people safeTALK (Tell, Ask, Listen, Keep Safe) trained and to provide specialist Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) to schools and colleges across Herts.

SafeTALK educates people on the signs that can help recognise if an individual is contemplating suicide and how to refer them to a life-saving intervention resource, such as caregivers trained in ASIST.

ASIST goes beyond the training currently available to staff. Participants learn to safely intervene and prevent the immediate risk of suicide.

Providing additional training in both SafeTALK and ASIST will help teachers get better at recognising people at risk of suicide, because, like many other victims, Morgan’s suicidal thoughts were not on anyone’s radar.

Thomas Logan and friends’ skydive will be taking place in Peterborough on Wednesday, August 24. To support the boys and donate to The OLLIE Foundation click here.

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