The Charlie Waller memorial trust

ABOUT

To the outside world Charlie Waller had everything to live for; a successful career, good friends and a loving family. In September 1997 Charlie took his own life at the age of 28. He was suffering from depression and no longer had the strength to cope with life. Shortly after this tragic event his family founded The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust.

The aim of the Trust is to increase awareness of the signs and the dangers of depression amongst young people and to encourage those who may be depressed to seek help. It also encourages those that are well to pick up the symptoms in others and persuade them to get help.

Over a hundred people attended Charlie Waller’s funeral. He was neither old, nor a local stalwart such as a publican; he was not a young victim whose senseless murder provoked commentators to talk of “a community in shock”. Nor was he a figure of renown, whose obsequies the great and good felt bound to attend. Charlie Waller was simply a 28 year-old advertising executive from Fulham, unknown beyond his contemporaries. His death had an impact which continues to affect those who knew him.

Since Charlie’s death in 1997, his parents, family and friends have worked through the Trust to increase awareness of the symptoms and dangers of depression and remove the stigma that is attached to mental illness. Over the years the Trust has grown into an independent charity that works with partners in the health service, education and the private sector across the country. They also work with other charities and family trusts with similar aims and backgrounds.   

“Our vision is of a world where people understand and talk openly about depression, where young people know how to maintain well being, and where the most appropriate treatment is available to everyone who needs it”

AIMS

  • Equip young people to look after their mental well being.
  • Help people recognise the signs of depression in themselves and others so they know when to seek help.
  • Ensure expert and evidence-based help is available when people need it.

METHODS

Mental Health — Key Statistics

Suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 35 in the UK.

Here are some other facts that show why promoting awareness and reducing stigma is so important:

  • An average of 3 children per classroom have experienced a mental health problem
  • One in three men said they would be embarrassed about seeking help for a mental health problem
  • Depression affects 1 in 5 older people
  • Depression is the most widespread form of disability, according to the world health organisation.

The ultimate consequence of not getting the help you need can be fatal. We lose over 6,000 people through suicide every year - that’s well over a hundred people a week - and three quarters of these are men.