Mum’s tribute to son, 15, who ‘took own life’ during lockdown

A mum is urging families to talk about their worries after her 15-year-old son is believed to have taken his own life.

"Incredible" and "polite" teenager Kian Southway died on March 31, just days after the UK issued tighter restrictions over the coronavirus pandemic.

But despite having a "love for life", his parents Jolene and Julian said Kian's mood changed in a matter of days, reports Wales Online.

Mum Jolene Southway, from Treorchy in Wales, believes Kian may have 'literally' felt isolated due to Covid-19.

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She said: "It was so unexpected, I think we are still in shock. We're numb.

Kian has been remembered as an "incredible" big brother and someone who cared about everyone

"We need people to know Kian wasn't suffering from mental health issues, he wasn't depressed.

"We need people to know how quickly this happens. I think he literally felt isolated from the world due to this Covid-19.

"Kian loved life. Boris Johnson announced lockdown on the Monday and he was gone by Friday. The gremlin took hold, he kept saying he couldn't wait for it to be over and that he wanted to fast forward it all."

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A video paying tribute to the teenager has also been made and shared by friends in the Penygraig Rugby Club U16s side, encouraging young people to open up.

Helplines and support groups

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
  • 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.
  • Hub of Hope is the UK’s most comprehensive national mental health support database. Download the free app, visit 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:
  • 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:

The video, which features Kian's friends as well as Porth Harlequins U16s and Wattstown RFU U16s, has been shared more than 1,600 times.

Jolene said: "Kian was very sociable. He did have an air of shyness but he was very polite. He thought of everybody and anybody and he loved being out and about. He was just amazing.

"He was an immense, incredible big brother to Darcey, he had her back all the time.

"We didn't expect this at all. We constantly talk and we encourage the kids to talk, we don't hide anything.

"Kian knew it's okay not to be okay and he didn't talk. We will never know why."

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By speaking out after Kian's death, the teenager's family want to encourage others to talk about their worries and seek support.

Jolene said: "People have been messaging saying their children have done it or attempted to or people have said they have lost people of the same age when they were young.

"You know it's out there but when it doesn't affect you it doesn't hit home. There are gremlins out there and it changes our kids. It has to stop.

"I just need people to talk, I need them to know it's okay not to be okay and that people really really love you and want to talk. There's numbers if you can't talk to loved ones.

"When Kian died, I rang as many parents as I could. People think they can see it coming, they think it comes in patterns.

"We are a family you don't expect this to happen to. Kian had the best life. It destroys people, families, it destroys everything."

Paying tribute to pupil Kian, Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhondda school said: "Our school is very sad to lose a very dear member of our family,Kian Southway. Our deepest sympathy goes to his immediate family and those closest to him.

"We shall come together to remember Kian when we can. Until then we hold Kian gently in our thoughts at Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhondda."138308078509

A fundraising page has been set up by friends of Kian to support his family during this time and raise awareness of mental health among young people.

You can donate here.