Exclusive: Tring family share their story of suicide

Exclusive: Tring family share their story of suicide

Published by Charlotte Fisher at 5:48am 19th August 2019.

This week we'll be hearing from a Tring family who are sharing their story with us after their son tragically took his own life.

Charlotte from Mix96 has been talking to the Stringers, who hope their story will help others experiencing something similar.

Hector Stringer took his own life in 2011, aged just 18.

For the family it was incredibly shocking, the day it happened, 20th April, changed their life forever. 

Lotte, Hector's sister, told us what happened:

"On the day it was an early morning and mum said 'I can't find Hec.'

"So, she had gone outside.

"I thought maybe he had gone for a run - those were my initial thoughts.

"Then I looked over the fence, there was our shed and I said to mum 'the doors open in there'.

"She opened the door and, of course, that's it our entire life was turned upside down."

Hector's dad wasn't home at the time

Lotte Stringer with her brother Hector Stringer who took his own life at the age of 18.
Lotte Stringer with her brother Hector

Robert, Hector's dad, wasn't home at the time and came back to awful scenes at their house, with of lots of police and detectives. 

But, as soon as it happened they were always very open with family, friends and the public about how Hector died.

This led to people coming to them for help, even if they were just walking on the street, they would be asked how to help people with anxiety or other mental health issues.

People also came to their house to remember Hector - they started writing messages to him in the shed, where he was found.

Robert told us:

"One of our nieces went into the shed and they started writing messages to Hec.

"That was the very beginnings of Hector's House because we then had this focus of a place.

"So, really that's how everything started from that very very horrendous day."

Hector's House was born

The Stringer's turned their living nightmare into a way of helping others - and their charity Hector's House began.

The charity is based in Tring and runs a crisis line, gives talks in schools, travels with their Hec-tour bus and are there for anyone suffering with mental health issues.

The Hector's House website is a portal of information for people in need of help or advice.

But, if you or someone you know needs help, please contact:

  • Samaritans: Call 116 123
  • CALM: Helpline for men on 0800 58 58 58
  • Childline: For anyone under 19-year-old on 0800 1111
  • Mind: Call 0300 123 3393 or text 86463
  • YoungMinds: Helpline for adults worried about their child on 0808 802 5544.

On Mix96 tomorrow, we'll be hearing more from Lotte and Richard about how Hector's House can help those suffering.

You can listen here.

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