James Parnaby said the death of his grandfather was one of the “hidden effects of the coronavirus” in a Facebook tribute that described Dennis Ward as “life and soul at family celebrations”.
He said his grandfather liked to bet on horses and entertain those around him with stories. “So when I woke up last night to a call from my father to say that ‘your grandfather committed suicide’, it was a huge shock and hit the family like a ton of bricks and will be difficult to understand for us everything. “
Ward grew up in Coventry but spent much of his life in south Birmingham with his 60-year-old wife Valerie Ward. He had worked at Jaguar Land Rover in Castle Bromwich, a village in the West Midlands. The family confirmed to the Guardian that Ward died Saturday at his home in Kings Norton.
“If you are reading this, I ask you all today to just pick up the phone with your parents, grandparents, friends or any vulnerable person to check them out and ask if they are okay and if they are coping . I never had a chance to talk to him because I thought he would be fine and see him from the other side, “said Parnaby.
Parnaby has set up a fundraising page for the Mind charity in memory of Ward, who has raised almost £ 2,000. He hopes the funds will help raise awareness of mental health issues, especially during the current crisis.
“If you could please donate, whether 5p or £ 50, it would mean the world to us. This great charity helps people with mental health problems of all kinds. The coronavirus pandemic is having a huge impact on our mental health, ”he wrote.
Earlier this month, Professor Rory O’Connor, an expert leading the UK assessment of the psychological impact of the coronavirus epidemic, said that people who feel trapped and alone during the coronavirus lockout should be quickly identified and receive the help they need.
Police have seen the first signs of an increase in the number of suicides and attempted suicides during the lockdown.
• In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted at 116 123 or by email at [email protected] or [email protected] In the United States, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the Lifeline Crisis Support Service is on 13 11 14. Other international help lines are available at www.befrienders.org.