4 close friends, including 2 brothers, die in 'chain of suicides' that leaves small town reeling

2018-07-17 14:29
Dylan Smith.(Photo:Facebook/Dylan Smith)

Dylan Smith.(Photo:Facebook/Dylan Smith)

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A UK town has been rocked by the deaths of four people who took their own lives within weeks of each other.

According to Metro, brothers Dylan (22) and Darryl Smith (27), Sophie Gradon (32) and her fiancé Aaron Armstrong (25), from Blyth in Northumberland, "killed themselves in a chain of suicides".

READ ON HEALTH24: What to do and say when someone wants to commit suicide

Dylan hanged himself in his home on July 15, just weeks after his older brother Darryl (27) took his own life in the same way on June 13.

"My best friend, brother and dad all in one," Dylan wrote on Facebook before he died. "I can’t put into words how devastating this is."

Gradon, who once featured in popular UK reality show Love Island, was found dead by Armstrong at her parents' house in Ponteland, Northumberland on June 20 in an alleged suicide, The Independent reports. Her cause of death has yet to be confirmed.

'Mental health epidemic'

According to the Smith brothers’ grieving dad Billy, the four were close friends growing up together in Blyth.

"They'd known each other all of their lives. It's simply tragic they have all died within such a short space of time," he told Mail Online.

Their deaths highlight a "mental health epidemic among young people", he added.

"There needs to be more help out there. The problem is it's not spoken about.

"It's a cultural thing, especially among young men, they do not open up. Things need to change. Schools should teach about mental health more, and young people should be encouraged to open up."

Smith told Mail Online the deaths of his sons is an "epidemic" of young people suffering discreetly with their mental health and that "things need to change".

Darryl, who owned a barbershop, leaves behind a fiancée and a young daughter.

He and Dylan also have a younger brother, Liam, who posted a heartrending tribute online after Dylan’s death.

"Words cannot describe how I feel to lose you as well," he wrote. "Give Darryl a hug from me."


For more information on mental disorders and how to cope, call the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) on 011 234 4837 to find a counsellor, toll-free on 0800 567 567 for the Suicide Crisis Line, or the 24-hour helpline on 0800 121 314.

SMS 31393 or visit their website, www.sadag.org.za, to find support groups in your area.

Sources: Mail Online, Metro, The Independent

Read more on:    uk  |  suicide

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