A COUPLE have backed a newly launched suicide campaign exactly eight years to the day since their son took his own life

Jenny and Andrew Sutton’s son, Ben, killed himself at the age of 20.

Ben’s body was found at Hadleigh Castle in his favourite clothes and among his most special possessions: his phone, iPod, a book - Way of the Peaceful Warrior, by Dan Millman - an empty can of Guinness and some Jack Daniel’s whisky.

Describing the moment police broke the news, Jenny said: “I just screamed. I felt like somebody had just ripped out my insides, as though my soul had gone. I had just got my first baby through his education and it was all taken away.”

To most of the world, the Billericay student was an empathetic joker – “the life and soul”.

But even his parents were fooled by the mask of happiness he wore when he saw them for the last time, insisting: “Don’t worry about me because I’m going out with one of my friends. I’m feeling much better.”

“That night was the best we had slept for a long time,” said dad Andrew. But their son, who had previously been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, had been consumed by “the darkness”, as his father called it, and knew the drug overdose he planned to take would ensure he was lost to them forever.

Eight years on, Jenny, 56, and Andrew, 54, have adjusted to their “new normal”, “saved” as they put it, by their temporary involvement in the organisation Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS).

Andrew said: “Things change, people change, situations change and your feelings can change - there is always hope.”

Both are supporting the Essex Partnership University Trust’s bid to encourage staff, patients and the public to download free suicide prevention app Stay Alive from the App Store.

The app includes rapid access to the trust’s crisis service telephone numbers; advice about staying safe; information on helping people in need; and details about suicide myths.

Andrew added: “Ben had nothing like this. If it had been there when he was struggling, it might have put him in a better place.

“What we find with the SOBS group is that for people who take their lives, it’s often a few issues that make them come to that decision. One thing that’s slightly better could change their decision on the day, and the app could be that thing.”