A WINCHESTER author has turned a diary about his late partner's suicide into a book to help mental health sufferers and those going through grief.

Author Russell Cook from Kings Worthy has published a book about the day-to-day struggle he and his late parter Jane went through as she struggled with depression.

Russell, 56, met Jane over 20 years ago and he realised she was 'the one' on first sight.

He was aware of Jane's illness but felt he had to see where it went.

He said: "We got in touch and shortly after lost touch, but as soon as I met her I knew she was the one. I fell in love at first sight so I pursued her. I knew she had been ill but I knew I had to see where it went."

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After Jane's suicide in 2012, Russell used a diary two to three times a day to release his thoughts and jot down how he was feeling, before deciding to turn it into a book.

He said: "I wrote it in 2012, just after Jane's passing and it crossed my mind during lockdown. I gave it an edit and passed it by Jane's brother and son, who were comfortable with the idea. There is a mental health crisis and it affects us all.

"The diary started as a way to communicate mine and other people's thoughts. It was a way of offloading grief without bottling it up."

Russell's aim was to publish it for people who need an extra boost to tackle the ups and downs of a relationship and being with someone who is sinking to the level of taking their own life.

Russell hopes to take the blame and guilt off people going through a similar situation.

He said: "I hope they see there is an end to this. When someone makes that decision, where they don't realise they're doing it, they think they're ending the pain, not their life, and Jane said she doesn't want to die but the pain becomes too much."

Since publishing the book, Russell has privately helped mental health sufferers and wishes to get in touch with mental health charities for a chance to do talks on a wider scale.

Castles in the Sky is available now in paperback from Amazon: amazon.co.uk/Castles-Sky-Memoir-Learning-Again/dp/.

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