A WREXHAM mum is hoping to help young people seek help with their mental health almost one year since her 21-year-old son took his own life.

Declan Cameron Patterson-Jones was found dead at his home address in Bersham Road on June 26, 2020.

An inquest into his death in December that year recorded a conclusion of suicide.

His mum Beverley, 53, said: "Declan always struggled with friendships.

"He had additional needs; ADHD and Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

"He knew he was different and he was very logical in the way he thought.

"Declan was a frustrated child who couldn't understand people's ways but he was also a very honest, loving and interesting character.

"He knew something about everything."

The Leader: Declan with his mum Beverley at her cake stallDeclan with his mum Beverley at her cake stall

Describing the devastating impact of losing her son, she continued: "The first thing was the funeral director's ringing me up asking what I wanted to do. "I was just reeling. I wasn't thinking straight. "You just find yourself in this whole world of darkness, but you have to carry on.

"It's difficult when everyone's coming to you with advice on that they did for this or that.

"Everyone's journey is different.

"The grief hit our family and it had a ripple effect. "I was frightened - my business had closed down because we were in lockdown and my husband lost his job, so as well as losing our son we had no income and no money for his funeral.

"I had nobody to talk to because I didn't know anyone else who'd lost a child in those circumstances.

"It was a very distressing time, in every respect."

The Leader: Declan with his mum BeverleyDeclan with his mum Beverley

Describing the days leading up to Declan's death, she said: "We had no idea what he was going to do. "He had a lot of mental health issues and I was very lucky in that I had a very good relationship with him. "We spoke about everything - there wasn't a subject that was off limits, which is good and rare.

"He spoke to me the day before, and told me he was struggling. "He needed to see a doctor so I made him an appointment for the next day. "But the next day we had the call from the police to say he'd taken his own life."

Beverley is now part of a project called Declan's Den, which is being run with Wrexham-based organisation Yellow and Blue.

It aims to reach out to people with suicidal thoughts, initially young people aged 11 to 18 in particular.

Mrs Patterson-Jones said: "We wanted somewhere people could go and not be on their own. "They don't have to talk - I think half the battle is knowing they have someone on their side who gets it.

"I am not a counsellor, but if I can help one person, whoever it might be..

"Just to get a little bit more understanding of why people feel like this and sometimes being nice is all you need to do."

Mrs Patterson-Jones described her son as a very interesting person, who loved animals, philosophy and music - among many other interests.

"He loved heavy rock music," she said.

"He taught himself to play lead and bass guitar.

"Through a charity, Given to Live, he got to meet Corey Taylor from Slipknot, which he loved.

The Leader: Declan with Corey Taylor from Slipknot and Tom Pugh of Given to LiveDeclan with Corey Taylor from Slipknot and Tom Pugh of Given to Live

"He had some close friends, really good friends, but through growing up and being socially unaccepted, all he wanted was friends.

"He knew that he was loved, and that's a very important thing when people feel isolated."

Nia Lloyd, aged 61 and of Hightown, is the youth ambassador for Declan’s Den.

She said: “This has been set up in Declan’s memory under the umbrella of Yellow and Blue.

“It’s going to be volunteer-run using the Yellow and Blue venue and I will be leading it.

“My background is in education and social services and my focus has been on emotional support.

“There have been volunteers wanting to help from all different avenues and professions.

“There’s a massive demand for it – through the roof.

“A lot of young men die due to suicide and that includes Wrexham, Flintshire and Chirk as well.

“People feel isolated and that’s even more so since covid.

“We’re going to be bringing people together and trying to find a commonality, enhancing their skills.

“We’re not going to be ‘directing them’ – we’ll be supervising them but there will be social things for them to do.

“If anyone’s not sure, I would encourage them just to come along and sit down, do whatever.

“You don’t have to do anything, you don’t have to speak to anyone – there’s no pressure.

“Someone will be there for you if you need it.”

The Leader: Declan with his mum Beverley at Hyde Park to see Green DayDeclan with his mum Beverley at Hyde Park to see Green Day

Pete Humphreys, founder of Yellow and Blue, said: “It reminds me why I started Yellow and Blue.

“We all need somewhere to turn and that’s what the YaB Hub is all about.

“I think the last 12 months has created a lot of isolation, which teenagers go through anyway.

“This creates a place where they can come and feel like they belong, make friends and talk.

“It’s ok not to be ok – and it’s ok to talk.”

For more information, search for Declan's Den on Facebook, call 07443 035246 or email nialloydcymru@gmail.com