Family and friends of a former Nelson and Colne College student joined with college staff and partner agencies to remember her life during Mental Health Awareness Week.
Molly Carter took her own life in 2017, aged just 20, and to remember the “outgoing” and “caring” former Hairdressing student an event has been held in her name.
‘In Molly’s Memory’ saw a new bench unveiled at NCC, as a place for students to sit and think, as well as a memorial walk around Victoria Park in Nelson led by the Stage Fright singers. Those attending also heard a real life account of benefiting from the support of mental health services entitled ‘Sarah’s Story’.
Kim Tillotson, 21, a friend of Molly’s said: “It was an emotional day, but we remembered the good times we shared with Molly. I think it’s hard for young people to talk about their mental health but we are raising awareness of the services and support that is available and the fact that there is always somebody there to listen.”
Chantelle Singleton, 21, another of Molly’s friends added: “Molly was such an outgoing person, she was always smiling and she was great fun to be around. She was also very caring and witty. I think getting everybody together has really helped the healing process.”
A raffle raising funds for Addaction was generously supported by donations from local salons and suppliers and a collection of practical items such as toiletries for the mental health wards at Burnley General Hospital was equally well supported.
This year’s theme for Mental Health Awareness Week has been stress and students at Nelson and Colne College have received information, tips and resources on how to cope with stress, particularly on stress around exams.
Claire Pye, Head of Section for Hair and Beauty at Nelson and Colne College said: “Molly was in my tutor group from 2013 to 2015 and she was a lovely, thoughtful student.
“Through holding the ‘In Molly’s Memory’ event, we want to encourage our students to come forward if they have any issues around mental health so that we can direct them and help them access support that they may need. We also now have a poignant reminder of Molly with her bench so that she can be remembered forever.”
Rebecca Pope from the Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Community Restart Team said: “I’m really proud that the event was a fitting way to remember Molly. The sun was shining and it was as if she was looking down on us watching the walk and the unveiling of the bench.
“‘In Molly’s Memory’ was about raising awareness of mental health and to really highlight the message that it’s okay not to be okay.
“I would like to thank the Stage Fright singers who are formed by members who have previously had mental health or substance issues, and I would also like to extend my gratitude to Sarah for coming along and sharing her important story. I would also like to thank everybody who has donated to the raffle and to the items for the mental health wards at Burnley General Hospital.”
Further information on Mental Health Awareness Week and advice and guidance on mental health and wellbeing can be found at www.mentalhealth.org.uk
For more information on Nelson and Colne College visit www.nelson.ac.uk or contact the Admissions Team on 01282 440272.