THE family of a dad-of-two who took his own life have shared their heartbreaking story to mark World Suicide Prevention Day.

Craig Cardwell, from Toll Bar, died in June at the age of 35. His family want to encourage more men to talk about their mental health.

Craig's loss has devastated relatives, including older brother Daniel Cardwell, who in his grief looked to suicide prevention and mental health charity HIMvisible for support.

St Helens Star:

Craig with his sons

Daniel said: “As a family we were concerned about Craig as he was a very introverted person and he had separated from his wife and was struggling to speak about this.

“He was a successful businessman with his own joinery business and has two boys aged 14 and six, so he had a lot to be happy about as well. But he clearly was struggling and did not, for whatever reason, feel he could speak out.

“The night before he died he went out in St Helens with around 15 of his friends and was happy, but the next day we found out he was gone.

“Craig’s death was absolutely devastating to us all and hard to put into words.

“I’ve struggled as to why he did not feel able to speak to anyone, which is why I looked for support and advice and that’s when I found HIMvisible.”

HIMvisible is a suicide prevention and men’s mental health charity set up by dad-of-two Steve Thornton from Newton-le Willows.

Steve has admitted the breakdown of a relationship left him considering suicide.

Years later, he decided to help others in a similar situation by creating a “brotherhood” where loved ones and those struggling can come together to spend time.

If they feel able to speak, they know they will be supported.

Daniel, 37, added: “I was shocked when I realised that I knew Steve already, so after getting support there myself I’ve decided that in Craig’s memory I wanted to join HIMvisible to try and help others.

“Craig isn’t the first in our family to end their life. It is devastating to lose loved ones and we know the rates in St Helens are shockingly high, particularly among men.

“We need to work together to break down barriers where men think they can’t talk to others, because they can.

“This isn’t a typical support group. It’s a group of guys coming together having a drink or a brew, chatting about normal things like the football but then also knowing that as friends and ‘brothers’ we are also there and will listen no matter what.

“I will always wish Craig had spoken about what he was going through, but if we can help others in his memory then I’m sure that’s something he would be proud of.

“I now feel that this is what I am supposed to do in life; if we can help just one person then it would mean the world, but to help more would mean everything.

“To everyone out there I’d just say, no matter what you are going through, you are not alone; talk to someone.”

On October 12, Daniel, along with friends and family of Craig and members of HIMvisible will climb Snowdon to raise funds to support others to help them to make a different decision.

All money raised in Craig’s memory will go to HIMvisible.

St Helens Star:

Craig Cardwell

World Suicide Prevention Day took place on Tuesday and to mark the occasion a new campaign aimed at breaking down the stigma of talking about suicide has been launched in St Helens.

It’s ok to ask, has been developed collaboratively with The St Helens Suicide Prevention Task Group with the support of families in the St Helens borough who have lost someone to suicide.

Latest figures revealed last week that St Helens has the fifth highest suicide rate in the country, previously the rate was the highest in the country.

The new campaign will focus on the life-saving conversations anyone could have by asking someone “are you thinking about suicide?”.

Cllr Anthony Burns, cabinet member for public health, libraries and leisure, said: “Suicide is a tragic loss of life and has a huge impact on the families and friends of those left behind.

“We know in St Helens too many people have felt the devastating loss of someone through suicide and this is why OK TO ASK is such an important campaign.

To sponsor Craig’s family visit them go to

To take part in the climb up Snowdon go to @himvisible on Facebook. You can also find out information on HIMvisible by visiting