Wales politics

Jack Sargeant speaks on impact of suicide

Jack Sargeant
Image caption Jack Sargeant said he has suffered feelings of guilt, anger, confusion and distress

Labour AM Jack Sargeant says he sometimes finds it difficult to get up in the morning after losing his father Carl.

Mr Sargeant was one of a number of AMs who spoke candidly in the chamber about how suicide had affected them.

It was during a debate about preventing suicide.

A cross-party report last year said the number of people taking their own lives was "staggering".

"Some days these ripples will be small and sometimes we make progress and other days I struggle to get out of bed," Mr Sargeant said.

Suicide affects the health and well-being of friends and families, he said, leading to "feelings of guilt, anger, confusion, distress over unresolved issues".

The Alyn and Deeside AM added: "As members know, I try to speak openly about this issue, because I know that there are others suffering in silence.

"No matter how hard it is, I will continue to speak out. It's what Dad would've wanted, it's what he would've done."

Image caption Carl Sargeant was found dead after an investigation was launched into his conduct

He urged AMs to remember a phrase "edrych ar ol ein gilydd" (look after each other) which he found written on a piece of paper in one of his late father's jackets.

Mr Sargeant's father was found dead at home in November 2017, days after he was sacked in a Welsh Government cabinet reshuffle.

The inquest into Carl Sargeant's death is due to resume in July.

The assembly's health committee has called for mental health to receive the same attention as physical health.

In 2017, 360 people took their own lives in Wales - the highest figure since 1981 - and 278 of those were men.

If you have been affected by issues raised in this article help and support is available via the BBC Action Line.

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