A GRIEVING woman who lost her sister to suicide believes more needs to be done to help people who are struggling with their mental health.

Clair Conchie, 29, wants there to be more follow-up for patients after their initial visit to the doctors.

The death of her sister, Nicola Moore, 31, who was chef and co-owner at the Lowther Arms in Whitehaven, shook the community when she died in October 2017.

Clair said: “People will go to the doctors and automatically they’ll just get told ‘right, here’s some medication and away you go’. I don’t think there’s enough follow-up with people. I don’t think it’s good – “I think the figures of people committing suicide reflect that.

“It’s fair enough going to the initial appointment and they’re sent on their way but they should be phoning to say, ‘is everything ok?’ Just something.”

Clair, who lives in Egremont, said she did not realise the extent of her sister’s struggles before she died.

“She told me she was depressed but she also told me she would never do anything like that. If somebody says that, you never in a million years think it’s going to happen. I didn’t realise how badly she was struggling.”

Clair spoke of the “torment” her family now faces every day since losing Nicola.

“It’s not like she died through an accident. We have to live with the fact that she chose that. It’s not like any other grieving. It’s just awful because all you do is think about her final moments all the time. You just torture yourself wondering.

“We’re never going to know. We’re never going to have the answers. That’s what’s so hard about it. It’s just on a daily basis – you just can’t get the image out of your head. It’s horrendous.

“Unless you’ve been through it, you just have absolutely no idea how it torments you.”

Clair also highlighted the stark reality of suicide in West Cumbria, particularly the number of women who have recently taken their own lives.

She said: “Honestly, every month now I hear about somebody new committing suicide in West Cumbria.

“I think there’s been such stigma about so many men that aren’t able to talk. It’s horrendous whichever sex – it doesn’t come into it – but I just think women need help as well, not just men. It shouldn’t just be aimed at one or the other.”

Clair said she was unsure why suicide rates in Cumbria are above the national average. “I don’t know the reasons for it. I don’t know whether it’s just they’re that cut back from government funding but obviously there is a problem in West Cumbria. I think it is a lot of women.”

Clair is now urging people with mental health issues not to suffer in silence.

“I think the only thing that helps is talking and whoever it is, you just need to find somebody and just blurt everything out, basically.

“It’s just talking to people, it’s proven that when you let out all your worries, you feel better. Just find anybody and just get it all out.”

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Last week Clair completed a sponsored skydive in Nicola’s memory and has raised £2,000 for the mental health charity, Mind.

“I got quite emotional when I was about to do it, just thinking about her.

“She would have been laughing her head off because I was so nervous and I never do anything like that.”

When asked what she misses most about her sister, Clair said: “I couldn’t pinpoint it to one thing. Just everything. Probably that she was the goofiest, the silliest, she didn’t care what anyone thought.”