When Izzy decided to raise money for CALM in memory of her brother Harrison, she couldn’t have imagined how many donations would tot up in the months to come. We caught up with her to hear how she, along with family and friends, pulled together to raise almost £24,000 to support our services and why she’s campaigning for better wellbeing support for students.
Studying at Manchester Metropolitan University, Harrison was on placement when he took his own life. Realising how isolating university placements could be, Izzy set out to find ways she could ensure students felt supported, starting by raising money for CALM and helping us to be there no matter what.
25 year old Izzy is a force to be reckoned with – it’s only 11 in the morning and she’s already spoken to numerous universities about their mental wellbeing policies and hosted a talk to the team at CALM. Chatting to us on the phone, she recounts her story:
“I lost my brother to suicide on the seventh of December 2020. He was 23 and really passionate about mental health himself. Last Mental Health Awareness Day, he posted on Instagram, saying ‘I find this day super difficult because it brings up a lot of things, but it’s really important to talk’. He shared his number and said his DMs were open. He was so open about talking about other people’s mental wellbeing, but he didn’t talk about his own that much.
“What happened left a massive hole in all of our lives, but it made me realise that people aren’t always able to talk in moments of crisis because they don’t know where to turn to.
We wanted to raise money for CALM because the webchat is so beneficial for people who don’t feel they can talk face-to-face or on the phone. We just wanted to hopefully prevent one other person from feeling like Harrison did.”