Michael Sharpe: Family set up new project in memory of son who took his own life
A family from Grangemouth have set up a new project which aims to raise awareness surrounding the stigma of suicide after their son tragically took his own life earlier this year.
Donna Gibson is spearheading the campaign, which is called The Michael Sharpe Project, after her son who suffered from mental health issues before taking his own life in March this year.
The project – which started out as a page on social media – aims to raise awareness of, and the contributors to suicide - all while raising money for people who are homeless in Scotland.
Michael had became homeless in the months leading up to his death at the age of just 22.
Donna said: “Over the months that have passed we wanted to do something to raise awareness of suicide and to the possible contributors.
"We decided to begin with a ‘feel good’ Facebook page which has developed into a registered company.
"As there is still a large amount of stigma attached to suicide, we decided to tackle it as a form of possible prevention, and have chosen to do this through supporting the homeless.
"When Michael’s mental health went downhill he became homeless himself.”
Donna explained that the family have organised a series of fundraisers with proceeds going towards Homeless Project Scotland as well as creating other initiatives to raise awareness about the stigma that surrounds suicide.
"As it iss Worldwide Suicide Prevention day on September 10, we have arranged for a sponsored walk over the Forth Road Bridge, and have arranged a friendly football game at Little Kerse on Saturday (11th)
“The Michael Sharpe Project Football Club was created by his youngest brother and Stomp out Stigma has been put together with my work colleagues from Arkgrange Care Home.
"The amount raised over both days will be shared with Homeless Project Scotland.
"Sarah Pannu, Michael's long term friend and Steven Scotland, his younger brother are both directors of the project, with support from myself and two voluntary support workers.
"We hope by establishing the project over this weekend, we will be recognised for what we hope to achieve over the forthcoming months.”