Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Family of Tragic Mum Help Launch Awareness Scheme

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Family of Tragic Mum Help Launch Awareness Scheme

Article excerpt

Byline: Sonia Sharma Reporter

AMENTAL health awareness scheme has been launched in honour of popular Northumberland mum Sally Allan.

The 59-year-old, of Ponteland, went missing from her home on Boxing Day last year after sharing a happy Christmas Day surrounded by friends and family.

A major search operation took place to find her, with members of the community joining in to help the emergency services.

However, on February 3, her body was found in Jarrow.

Her family believe she took her own life and that she had been battling mental health issues for some time but had been masking them from everyone.

Gordon, Sally's husband, said: "Sally appeared to be an incredibly strong person who always put other people first.

"But I believe this strength worked against her, as she was able to keep her anxiety to herself, hiding it from family, friends and colleagues.

"I knew she was a worrier, sometimes lacked self-confidence and could suffer from social anxiety before meeting large groups but they never appeared to be a major problem.

"Sally was still socially active and she had recently retired, which I thought came as a relief to her, as she had been finding her job stressful although her colleagues did not know this.

"They simply knew her as an outgoing, upbeat person and have confirmed that since we lost her.

"With hindsight I think if you showed me a snapshot of Sally 10 years ago and one more recently I might have noticed differences in her behaviour, but over time it is easy to miss the small changes leading to a greater change.

"She did express anxiety when using new technology as she worried that she didn't understand how to use the internet properly and worried that social media could isolate her from family and friends as she grew older.

"In the run up to Christmas Sally did have a number of legitimate, normal things she was worried about. These, combined with what we now think was low self-esteem, the pressure of wanting to make Christmas special and more time to ponder after her recent retirement, were just too much for her to bear on her own.

"If only Sally had opened up and talked about how she really felt the family would have helped her turn things around."

Now the Sally Allan Mental Health Awareness Programme has been launched by Tyneside and Northumberland Mind.

It was developed in conjunction with the Allan family to help spread awareness of mental health issues.

And on Thursday the team delivered its first awareness presentation to the staff of Silverbean digital marketing agency in Newcastle.

The Allan family raised around PS12,500 for Tyneside and Northumberland Mind, and a further PS10,000 for the national Mind charity.

It is hoped the community will support further fundraising initiatives to support their work. …

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