Downing Street date helps Padiham man Jordan launch campaign to tackle suicide
An inspirational Padiham dad-to-be has taken his mission to tackle the stigma around suicide to Downing Street.
And Jordan Taylor did not mince his words when he got the opportunity to speak to Prime Minister Theresa May personally.
He said:"I told Mrs May that the way to start tackling it was in schools.
"Children are taught to ask for help if they fall over and hurt themselves so why are we not telling them to ask for help if they are worried about something or they feel down and they don't know why?"
A former teaching assistant at St Leonard's Primary School in Padiham, Jordan saw first-hand how children as young as 11 are affected by the pressures of exams and other life events.
He added: "The Prime Minister was talking about starting education into mental health issues at the age of 14 but I believe it should start before then."
Jordan was invited to a reception at Number 10 to mark World Mental Health Day.
The invitation was extended to people who work in the field and for Jordan it was a unique opportunity get the "top people" on board when it comes to dealing with suicide.
According to statistics released by the Samaritans In 2017 there were 6,213 suicides in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
In the UK, men remain three times as likely to take their own lives than women, and in the Republic of Ireland four times more likely.
The highest suicide rate in the UK was for men aged 45-49. But there has been a significant decrease in male suicide in the UK, and the male suicide rate is the lowest in over 30 years.
The Downing Street brainstorming session resulted in some real positives with an MP appointed for "suicide prevention," more funding pledged for the NHS and accident and emergency facilities, £18M for to keep the Samaritans helpline free and also more charity recognition and TV broadcasting on the issue.
On his return to Lancashire Jordan wanted to carry on with the campaign he feels so strongly about and this resulted in the launch of Start Talking, a new charity to tackle the stigma built around mental health and suicide.
Launched on social media, Start Talking has really taken off, with 500 "likes" before it has even been launched officially and Jordan is already planning a series of fund raising events which he hopes will attract volunteers to help in a variety of ways.
He said: "Start Talking is about letting people know there is someone there they can talk to to reassure them they are not alone and there is always a solution.
"We want people to speak to us, either face to face, or over a coffee, a pint or through a call.
"It is about ending the stigma attached to suicide so it isn't a taboo subject."
Plans are also on the cards to form a group supporting bereaved families and children following a death from suicide.
Jordan said: "We want to get this right and want to hear from people about how Start Talking can help them.
"Talking about your experience after being affected by suicide is something a lot of us keep tucked away and only connect with those emotions now and then."
And this Christmas Start Talking will host its first Light of Life where people will be invited to light a candle in their home and share pictures of their loved ones which will feature in a memory video montage.
Two years ago Jordan launched his first campaign, It'sOKToTalk and it went viral!
He asked people to post facebook "selfies" of them making the "ok" sign with their index finger and thumb and he was inundated with them. From mums and their children, work colleagues, people out socialising, pensioners and even a group of climbers who scaled Ben Nevis, hundreds posted their pictures in support of Jordan's page to support CALM, the Campaign Against Living Miserably.
And Jordan was thrilled when Burnley player Dean Marney got on board with his campaign
Poignantly, the campaign fell on the second anniversary of the death of Jordan's uncle, Andrew Giles.
Known locally in Padiham as "Nipper" the community was left in shock after his suicide as he was such a lively, popular and outgoing character who was well loved in the town.
And, of course, his death was a huge blow to Jordan and his family and tragedy they are learning to come to terms with.
Jordan said: "I felt that when I spoke to the Prime Minister I could tell her first-hand the huge impact a suicide can have on a family."
This remarkable young man first showed his talent for getting things done during the Christmas floods in Padiham in 2015. He was instrumental in launching a rescue operation to help the many business owners and residents whose properties were flooded.
He has achieved all this and he is still only 25. He has won an army of supporters in his hometown with many even calling for him to stand as an MP!
Now working as a new business development manager for Group First at Shuttleworth Mead in Padiham, Jordan and his girlfriend, Nicole Partridge, are expecting their first child in March.
Jordan said: "Nicole and all my family and friends have been so supportive of me through everything and it means a lot."