A COUNSELLOR who got into the role after her nephew committed suicide is set to host a charity evening for mental health and suicide awareness.

Tracey Hopper, 63, of Clacton, works with young people to aid them in improving their mental well being and self esteem.

Her inspiration for getting involved in this work was her nephew Conan who committed suicide when he was 23-years-old.

Tracey said: “My sister Wendy and her family live in Australia and Conan loved it over there.

“He was a very charismatic, loving and sensitive person who enjoyed surfing and skateboarding.”

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Happy - Conan enjoying himself on a night outHappy - Conan enjoying himself on a night out Deep down and unbeknownst to the family, Conan was suffering with mental health issues and was depressed.

Wendy and Tracey eventually got him to the hospital to see a doctor but he projected a false positive image, so his situation did not seem as serious.

Tracey added: “I’ve seen this type of masking before with my mum, she was bipolar but as children we didn’t know because my dad shielded it from us.

“I think this was the case with Conan, I believe he managed to hoodwink the professionals and took his life a year after that, to this day my sister isn’t over it.”

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Reflective - Conan looking onwards deep in thoughtReflective - Conan looking onwards deep in thought

Wendy got into fundraising for young people as a way to cope with Conan’s death, she set up a charity in Australia called Barbarians, a tribute to Conan.

Tracey became a counsellor and works with Papyrus, a suicide prevention charity in the UK, she has also worked with charities like MIND in the past.

She is set to host a charity evening at Frinton Tennis Club on Saturday, June 25 which will include an Elvis impersonator, Roger’s roadshow, a full three course meal and more.

Tracey said: “Hopefully it will be a great night but I’d like to do more for young people as well.

“I want to speak at schools around Essex or get someone to speak to children about their self esteem and mental wellbeing.

“In my opinion, school curriculums can do more, maybe a person can be on site so there’s always someone to help.”

To book your place for the charity evening call Tracey on 07985 468111.