Portsmouth son urges people to get mental health support if they need it after struggling with mum's suicide for two years

TWO years after his mum took her own life, Sydney Wicks realised he needed a bit of help to come to terms what had happened.

Thursday, 17th December 2020, 7:00 am
Updated Thursday, 17th December 2020, 10:24 am

The 23-year-old from Portsmouth said he spent two years living in shock after his mother Tracy, 46, went missing in 2016 before her body was found in Hilsea a day later.

Sydney said: ‘My mum had struggled with mental health for most of her life and so I had seen her upset and depressed before but it was such a shock.

‘I think such a shock to the system makes your brain goes into denial. I used to have dreams that my mum had faked her death and had chosen to live a different life.’

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

In 2018, Sydney realised he needed help for depression and got help from Talking Change Pictured: Sydney Wicks with a picture of his late mother, Tracey Wicks at his home in Portsea Island on 4 December 2020. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Sydney, a baker at Asda in Fratton, reached out to Talking Change in 2018, a free mental health talking therapy in Portsmouth, to help him deal with his emotions.

Read More

Read More
Portsmouth matron shares mental health journey after her whole family gets Covid...

He said: ‘I was in a group session and it was about seven to eight weeks long.

‘At first I didn’t really think it would do anything but about five weeks in it just clicked and it made me realise what kind of thoughts were keeping me in that low mood.

‘Some days are harder than others but you just have to keep up the techniques to help change your negative thoughts.’

Talking Change is a free NHS service, provided by Solent NHS Trust, and offers mental health support for anyone 16 or above in the Portsmouth area (iTalk offers the same service across other parts of Hampshire).

The service consists of a group of mental health and wellbeing professionals, including psychotherapists, counsellors and employment advisors, who can help people access treatments for common mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and bereavement.

Treatments are currently offered through video calls and courses, online digital therapies and by phone.

Sydney said: ‘The help is out there for anyone who needs it. I think what help people need specifically is different for everyone and it may be therapy or just being with others but not specifically talking about it or talking to family and friends as well.’

The News and JPI Media has launched a mental health campaign, There For Each Other.

Over the next few weeks you will hear from a range of people about their mental health journeys, relating to a number of topics including Covid-19, veterans, suicide, financial stress, grief, domestic abuse and the impact of social media.

Health professionals, organisations and charities will be sharing the range of support that is available and how it can be accessed.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

You can subscribe here for unlimited access to Portsmouth news online - as well as less adverts, access to our digital edition and mobile app.

Our trial offer starts from £2 a month for the first two months.