Norfolk man takes to the road in memory of his brother lost to suicide

PUBLISHED: 15:01 20 June 2018 | UPDATED: 15:01 20 June 2018

John Worthington. Picture: Samantha Harrowven

John Worthington. Picture: Samantha Harrowven


A man whose brother took his own life has launched a campaign in his memory to help young people battling mental health problems.

John Worthington holding the Olympic torch in 2012. Picture: Samantha HarrowvenJohn Worthington holding the Olympic torch in 2012. Picture: Samantha Harrowven

Simon Brown will be motorcycling across France this year, raising money and awareness for Papyrus, a charity which specifically works to prevent suicide in young people.

Mr Brown, 33, is raising awareness in memory of his brother John Worthington, who committed suicide aged 32.

Mr Brown, who lives in Little Plumstead, said: “My brother was failed massively by the NHS and I have myself had the same thoughts and feelings towards wanting to end it and I have family members who have been close to this too.”

“If we were given assistance and help when we were younger we could have been able to help in a better way and given the tools and mind set to combat these thoughts.”

John Worthington pictured at the ICU at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Picture: Samantha HarrowvenJohn Worthington pictured at the ICU at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Picture: Samantha Harrowven

The Morris Drive resident will be driving for three hours a day across France, beginning on August 31 and finishing on September 21.

MORE: Man “frustrated” at mental health delays took his own life after NHS 111 hung up on him

Mr Brown, who is a senior IT engineer, hopes that his brother’s story will help keep others safer, he said: “I will absolutely tell anyone about what happened to my brother because I think that his story will definitely help someone else who was in his position.”

Mr Brown has set up a Justgiving page, which focuses on the idea of ‘What would John do?’

Mr Brown said: “It’s something we have been using a lot since his passed. He was a very clever person and would always find unique and ingenuous methods to complete tasks and challenges, mental and physical.

“We are restoring his old motorcycle in his honour also, and plan to do all the work ourselves, because that is what John would do.”

Mr Brown will be setting off from his home, and said: “The main idea is to have five main points and everything in between is in the moment.

“First point: Omaha Beach. Then heading south west to Hossegor. On to Monaco, alongside the border. My brother and I are huge race fans so I will be checking out the race tracks. Finally, back up north through the Rhone-Alpes, up through Paris and back through Calais and home again.”

How the NHS changed their care after John Worthington’s death

John Worthington. Picture: Samantha HarrowvenJohn Worthington. Picture: Samantha Harrowven

After the inquest into John Worthington’s death on August 11 last year, IC24, which provides the NHS 111 service, said lessons have been learned from John’s death.

A report presented to the coroner said the service will be putting in place “robust and specific training around perceived abusive or aggressive patients”.

They will also “improve cross service working to ensure 111 has access to mental health services so patients expressing suicidal behaviours receive adequate safeguarding and referrals.”

Andrew Catto, Chief Medical Officer at IC24, said: ‘Firstly, we would like to again express our deepest sympathies to Mr Worthington’s family. Following his death a full investigation was carried out into his contact with our service to identify any learning.

“As a result a number of opportunities were identified, including enhanced partnership and information sharing with other healthcare providers to support our patients.”

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