“He did a lot of suffering, a hell of a lot of suffering.”
Those are the heartbreaking words from the parents of a young, popular Hebden Bridge man after his sudden death.
Kallum Bates died on Monday after battling depression and his family are now speaking out as Halifax rugby league star Luke Ambler starts a campaign to encourage men to talk about mental health.
His parents Nicholas Bates, 43, and Jean Pickles, 50, said Kallum, a scaffolder, had been struggling for three months and tragically took his own life. Since his death, there has been a huge outpouring of love and support in tribute to the 22-year-old.
His parents said: “He was really down, for some reason which we don’t know, and he didn’t get right from then. He did seek medical advice from a psychiatrist, but he was very proud and wouldn’t have wanted anyone to know there was anything wrong.
“We are absolutely devastated, he had a big family who all loved him so much and we will miss him so much. We have come to the realisation that he did a lot of suffering, a hell a lot of suffering. More than we can probably imagine.
“He was in hospital for 72 hours and we spent a lot of time with him, we gave him a lot of love and we said the things that we wanted to say to him. We’re so lucky to have been able to do that.”
Kallum was born in Old Town and attended Central Street Infant and Nursery School and Old Town Primary School, both Hebden Bridge, and Calder High School, Mytholmroyd. He then went to work for his father’s business, Omega Scaffolding. Hebden Bridge.
Paying tribute to their much-loved son, Mr Bates and Mrs Pickles, said: “He loved playing practical jokes, he was a real cheeky chappy. He would do anything for anybody and he had a big, big, heart and was such a caring person.
“He was planning on doing his NVQ in scaffolding. He had just passed his driving test, got himself a car. He loved going to the gym and he liked to look good.
“He was very particular with what he wore, he was always spending money on clothes and watches and he really took care of his appearance. He was very, very liked and it’s so nice to see what people have been saying about him.”
Now his family want to raise awareness through Luke Ambler’s ‘It’s Okay to Talk campaign’, which has received worldwide attention since it began. The rugby star’s brother-in-law Andrew committed suicide earlier this year and Luke says the devastation it caused was like nothing he had seen in his life.
He started ‘Andy’s Man Club’ alongside the Twitter hashtag #ItsOkaytoTalk to smash the stigma around men talking about their mental health.
The club, which runs every Monday at the Threeways Centre, Halifax, gives men a place to talk about anything bothering them. Meanwhile, people across the world, including celebrities, have been taking selfies with the ‘okay’ sign and sharing it with their followers with the hashtag #ItsOkaytoTalk. Luke now wants to start even more clubs and is encouraging people to donate to the cause. Visit crowdfunding.justgiving.com/andysmanclub-itsokaytotalk.