A well-known musician is backing a Salford mental health campaign after losing a ‘special’ friend to suicide.

Rowetta Satchell, who sang with the Happy Mondays in the 90s before appearing on the X Factor in 2004, is backing suicide prevention campaign, “Reach out: START to end suicide”.

START, a Salford based mental health charity, is holding a remembrance procession and vigil this weekend to mark World Suicide Prevention Day.

Rowetta, who will be performing at the event, said: “I am honoured to do it, it is an honour.

Rowetta Satchell

“It means a lot, I actually lost a friend, I have lost quite a few friends to suicide personally. But actually I lost a friend to suicide in Salford in 2015.

“It was in the papers, they couldn’t find her. It was on the local news.

“That was years ago, and now it’s getting worse as far as suicide goes. There’s just no hope for people.

“I’m not going to go into politics too much, but with the way the world is and the way this country is, there just doesn’t seem to be hope for people.”

Rowetta said that she feels the Covid lockdowns contributed to a dip in the nation’s mental health, which has since had a knock-on effect.

“Lockdown was bad enough, a lot of people gave up, people lost their businesses, relationships, marriages and family,” she said.

“It is really important to support people that feel suicidal, and the families that lose people and the friends who lose people to suicide.

“I want to be as supportive as possible.”

As part of the vigil, the names of those who have lost their life to suicide will be read out so family and friends can pay their respects.

“I think it is lovely that all the names are going to be read out, for anybody who wants their names read out, anybody who has lost a family or a friend,” added Rowetta.

“I will be asking for Rachel Reed to be read out, because she was a very special lady.

“You can try and help people and try and be there for them, but you can’t be there for someone 24/7 and you can’t cure everything and you can’t be a solution to all their problems. It’s impossible.

“The depression on people at the minute is terrible. I know financially a lot of people are in a bad way, and it’s not just people with nothing, its the way the world is, its a very depressing place.

“I think we’re very lucky in Manchester and Salford, we have a great spirit, but there is only so much people can take.

“It’s good to know that there is places you can go to and talk, there is places you can go and people do care. This is what this day is about to show people do care and you’re not forgotten. The family and friends are not forgotten.”

The vigil was initially going to be held on the September 10 to tie in with World Suicide Prevention Day, but it has been postponed due to the death of Queen Elizabeth.

It is now being held on Saturday, October 8 at Salford Museum.

If you would like to have a loved ones name added to the ‘roll of remembrance’, which will be read out at the vigil, email Dennisb@startinspiringminds.org.uk

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