'This is just the start,' says campaigner after success of her first mental health awareness vigil in Burnley

A gathering, held to show those struggling with depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts there is support for them, was given a warm reception from the people of Burnley.

Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 12:30 pm

The vigil, the first of its kind to take place, was held at Gannow Top bridge, where, in recent months, police have been called on a number of occasions to assist vulnerable people.

Organised by Megan Greenwood, several people went along to show their support for the mental health awareness initiative. And a number of people who attended also spoke about their own battles with depression and anxiety.

Megan (24) said: "For people to come along and share their stories was just so moving as it must have taken a lot of courage do that.

Supporters of the mental health awareness vigil at Gannow Bridge in Burnley were well supported by the town's residents
Supporters of the mental health awareness vigil at Gannow Bridge in Burnley were well supported by the town's residents

"I was moved to tears by this."

Along with posting photographs of people who would be willing to chat to anyone feeling in despair Megan also posted lots of inspirational quotes on the bridge. Two petitions are currently running calling for Lancashire County Council to introduce a raft a safety measures at the location.

Megan, who is from Burnley but moved to Bolton last year, was also supported by members of her family and friends and several passing motorists also pulled over to say hello.

She added: "So many were driving past, beeping their horns or waving and smiling at us, it was really uplifting for everyone."

Megan and her supporters at the Gannow Bridge mental health awareness vigil

Megan said that even motorists driving under the bridge on the motorway were pipping their horns in a show of support for the campaign.

Several people also turned up with drinks and snacks for Megan and her team. A speaker to play music was provided by Pendle man Matthew Eyre who also shared his own personal story. And Megan's friend, Tia Jade, was at the vigil from start to finish dancing and smiling in a bid to make people feel welcome.

Megan added: "I want to thank everyone who supported us, from those who shared posts on social media or sent photos to those who shared their story.

"Every single one of you will play a part in helping create change to support your neighbours in times of extreme darkness and most importantly, help prevent an individual from reaching that awful place."

Several volunteers agreed for their photographs to be posted on the bridge to provide a friendly face for anyone battling with their mental health

Buoyed by the success of the vigil, Megan, is now planning more at various locations in Lancashire as she continues with her crusade.

She said: "This definitely won’t be the last one, this is just the beginning, and if anyone has any ideas feel welcome to share them with us, as it’s all hands on deck."

Megan can be contacted through her facebook page Stand for Suicide Prevention.

A friendly face to greet anyone feeling down