A GRIEVING mother is reaching out to volunteers to help her with the charity she set up after her son took his own life following a lengthy mental health battle.

William Zacharia Pritchard, known as Zac, died by suicide aged 29.

The University of Worcester graduate had been victim of mental health issues all his adult life 'on and off', said his mum Gaynor Pritchard, and had 'been subject to interventions and in hospital' over the years.

Mrs Pritchard said following her son’s death in 2018 she has sought counselling herself having been diagnosed with PTSD 'because of the trauma of going through it all'.

“People don’t really appreciate how it affects someone, especially suicide. There’s quite a high rate of people that are affected by bereavement.”

Mrs Pritchard has since set up a charity in Zac’s memory called Behind the Smile and runs a peer support group for those with mental health issues, 'because there’s nothing else like that in Worcester'.

However, she says the journey to getting her charity off the ground hasn't been an easy one.

She said: "I am really trying to move this forward but its very difficult when I’m practically doing it myself, I do have a few people supporting me but I need to move this forward and get better support for everyone.

"We are committed to moving forward with plans and goals and to do so successfully we are in need of a premises to base the charity and hold support groups.

"We are also looking for volunteers help us fundraise, complete admin work, run support groups and organise events.

"Behind the Smile mental health peer support groups currently meets at St Andrews Methodist Church in Pump Street every Wednesday afternoon from 2pm to 4pm and the first and third Thursday in the month at 3pm to 5pm and 6pm to 7.30pm.

"These groups offer the opportunity to offload and share experiences in a safe and confidential environment. Activities are organised and, in the future, we will have outside speakers.

"Our future plans include offering support groups for those bereaved by suicide and a befriending service.

"If you feel like you could help us, please get in touch with me at admin@behindthesmile.care."