A GROUP of friends who have all been affected by suicide have set up a support group to help people suffering from depression.

Lauraine Mosdell came up with the idea for the Out of the Darkness Suicide and Mental Health Awareness group after her daughter, Teresa Kirrage, committed suicide by jumping off a bridge over the Ringway North A339, on June 20, 2010. The 30-year-old mother-of-two, of Forsythia Walk, Oakridge, Basingstoke, had suffered from depression.

Mrs Mosdell, from Brighton Hill, believes it is often a struggle for people with depression to receive counselling, so she has set up the group to offer support, and to raise funds for Basingstoke Counselling Services.

Hannah Jayne Miller, who is Teresa’s sister, said: “We have to remind members that we aren’t professionals, but we don’t mind listening.”

Mrs Mosdell, 52, said that before Teresa died, her family had set up what they referred to as ‘Teresa-Watch’ – where they checked in with her on a regular basis because of her depression.

But she said there was little professional support for Teresa, as her family desperately rallied round to try and keep her safe.

Jack Green joined Out of the Darkness and Mental Health Awareness to be a male presence in the group.

The 20-year-old, from Brighton Hill, Basingstoke, tried to take his own life in October last year.

He said: “If I had known about something like this group, I would have joined. Now I have got over things that have happened, I feel I can give people advice and try to help them.”

The group are in the process of arranging a fundraising walk around Down Grange to raise funds for Basingstoke Counselling Service.

Gilda McIntosh, from Basingstoke Counselling Services, said: “Basingstoke Counselling Service has recently been approached by a group known as Out of the Darkness, who have generously offered to sponsor us as an organisation, helping to provide counselling for adults suffering from mental ill-health.

“We understand that this group came together because members have experienced the trauma of suicide by someone close to them, or suffered because they could not get the professional help they needed to return to a full and happy life.

“They wish to use this experience positively by raising funds to ensure that counselling will always be available to those who are in need.

“We are very encouraged by their enthusiasm and energy in developing this link with us, and we understand that several events are in the planning stage that will raise funds for our charity. We admire the positive attitude and thank them sincerely. We wish them well now and in the future.”

For more information, or to offer support, the group can be contacted via the Facebook group Out of the Darkness Suicide and Mental Health Awareness.

And The Samaritans are always available to help anyone in any type of distress on 08457 90 90 90.