‘I walked 5,000 miles to show people are not alone’

Fleming Keery just completed a 5,000 mile walk to raise awareness of helping people who feel suicidal in Northern Ireland.

Every time he went for a walk, the 69-year-old wore a bright orange coat with the number of a free suicide prevention helpline on the back.

“I’m going to show people that they are not alone and that they can get help.”

He’s covered the miles during lockdown in his hometown of Carryduff, County Down, adhering to coronavirus guidelines and keeping social distance at all times, he says.

The number on his coat is for Lifeline, a government-sponsored suicide hotline in Northern Ireland.

“I know people who died by suicide, over 10 people.

“I put this jacket on every day.

“I believe there is someone out there who needs that phone number and it wouldn’t be amazing if they got it through me for a bit of shedding.”

If you are affected by any of the issues in this article, there is a list of organizations that may be able to help with BBC Action Line.

If you are in the UK you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 or Lifeline on 0808 808 8000.

Video journalist: Niall McCracken


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