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Two Hillsborough survivors ‘killed themselves after retriggering’ Paris CL final

Two Hillsborough survivors ‘killed themselves after retriggering’ the chaotic CL final scenes that we all witnessed unfold in Paris.

Speaking at the Hillsborough Law Now event on Monday (the 26th of September), Peter Scarfe from Hillsborough Survivors Support said two fans had taken their own lives, while the support group has had to put many people through therapy, since the traumatic events of the final in May.

Thousands of Liverpool supporters were treated dangerously in the surrounding areas of France’s national stadium, even children and those with disabilities were forced into cramped and dangerous tight spaces, walls, barriers, crowds of people unable to go anywhere before the game as turnstiles remained closed, before being indiscriminately sprayed with tear gas and pepper spray by French police. After the match, many were also beaten and robbed by gangs.

Kick off for the final was delayed for over 30 minutes in order to allow those who were experiencing difficulties to get into the ground, but the Guardian reports a message displayed blaming supporters for the delay had been “prepared a considerable time before the day of the match”.

UEFA’s handling of the game and its actions since have been widely criticised and Peter told Monday’s event that the events at the Stade de France had led to “retriggers” among some of the survivors who were there that day of the Hillsborough disaster. He said: “This year alone, we’ve had three suicides. That’s three too many.

“One was just before the anniversary because he didn’t want to face another anniversary, two of them were retriggers from Stade de France.”

He continued: “We’ve had to put people through therapy from the Stade de France, we led it and the LFC Foundation funded it, which is fantastic because we don’t have that kind of money to keep paying for more and more people, from other preventable tragedies. We shouldn’t be doing this, it shouldn’t be happening.”

Peter also said that many survivors and their family members face abuse on social media, “retraumatising” them. He said: “The problem with social media – as it has just been spoken about before. We have to deal with this ourselves, we have to deal with being retraumatised by some of the hate tweets that are out there.”

He added: “What these people are going through – the hate comments that are being made to the likes of Charlotte (Hennessy, who lost her dad Jimmy at Hillsborough when she was just six years old) and other family members and Hillsborough survivors, it’s beyond a joke. It’s retriggering people, it’s retraumatizing and people are taking their own lives.

“There are three people that we know about (that have committed suicide this year), there are probably many more. Since I started working on it with HSA, we have saved people’s lives. We’ve saved people from trying to take their own lives, we’ve put people through therapy to prevent people taking their own lives and we’re still picking up the pieces.”

An event at the Labour Party conference, Hillsborough Law Now, was held at Liverpool city centre’s Novia Scotia restaurant and heard from the likes of West Derby MP Ian Byrne, Mayor of Greater Mancheser Andy Burnham and Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram as it advocated for the Hillsborough Law to be put onto the statute book.

Burnham offered his support for the Hillsborough Law Now campaign. He said: “This is a change we need to make so that the next century in this country is different from the last and we never have a situation again where people in a city like this are treated like second class citizens.”

Rotheram pointed out the importance of the lessons learned from Hillsborough in preventing false narratives spreading following events like May’s Champions League final in Paris. Mayor Rotheram said: “As a 20-year old walking away from Hillsborough I felt absolutely powerless after what I’d witnessed and even more so days later when the lies and smears came out.

“On May 28 this year, I walked away from a football stadium absolutely emboldened with the lessons that have been learned that we wouldn’t let the false narrative take hold like it did all those years previously.”

Keir Starmer began his speech by saying he would commit to a Hillsborough Law, for which families of the Hillsborough victims have been campaigning.

Liverpool ECHO has also campaigned for the new law – also known as the Public Authorities (Accountability) bill, which is set out to help bereaved families with the aim of preventing further injustices where there is state involvement.

Starmer said that introducing the law would be one of his first acts if he was elected as Prime Minister.

The Leader of the Opposition said: “For too long his city has been let down. So, when Labour wins the next election, one of my first acts as Prime Minister will be to put the Hillsborough Law on the statute book

“I know how much this matters. I’ve spent a lifetime helping those who have been failed by the system. I promise you we will get this city the justice it deserves.”

The following are helplines and support networks for people to talk to, mostly listed on the NHS Choices website

  • Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at jo@samaritans.org.
  • CALM Campaign Against Living Miserably (0800 58 58 58) is a leading movement against suicide. It runs a UK helpline and webchat from 5pm to midnight 365 days a year for anyone who has hit a wall for any reason, who need to talk or find information and support.
  • PANDAS (0808 1961 776) runs a free helpline and offers a support service for people who may be suffering with perinatal mental illness, including prenatal (antenatal) and postnatal depression plus support for their family or network.
  • Childline (0800 1111) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number won’t show up on your phone bill.
  • PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is an organisation supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.
  • Mind (0300 123 3393) is a charity providing advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.
  • Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, have a low mood or are having suicidal thoughts.
  • Bullying UK is a website for both children and adults affected by bullying.
  • Amparo provides emotional and practical support for anyone who has been affected by a suicide. This includes dealing with police and coroners; helping with media enquiries; preparing for and attending an inquest and helping to access other, appropriate, local support services. Call 0330 088 9255 or visit www.amparo.org.uk for more details.
  • Hub of Hope is the UK’s most comprehensive national mental health support database. Download the free app, visit hubofhope.co.uk or text HOPE to 85258 to find relevant services near you.
  • Young Persons Advisory Service – Providing mental health and emotional wellbeing services for Liverpool’s children, young people and families. tel: 0151 707 1025 email: support@ypas.org.uk
  • Paul’s Place – providing free counselling and group sessions to anyone living in Merseyside who has lost a family member or friend to suicide. Tel: 0151 226 0696 or email: paulsplace@beaconcounsellingtrust.co.uk
  • The Martin Gallier Project – offering face to face support for individuals considering suicide and their families. Opening hours 9.30-16.30, 7 days a week. Tel: 0151 644 0294 email: triage@gallierhouse.co.uk
  • James’ Place – supports men over 18 who are experiencing a suicidal crisis by providing quick access to therapy and support. Call 0151 303 5757 from Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 5.30pm or visit https://www.jamesplace.org.uk/
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