Ten Percent Actor Cat White climbs mountain to boost cash for PAPYRUS

Cat is seeking to elevate cash and consciousness about her good friend, Simon (Picture: Supplied)

It was a quiet day in January when actor Cat White acquired a WhatsApp message that irrevocably modified her life. 

It was a message despatched to a gaggle of mates that was so stunning, and so unbelievable that Cat, 27, felt her physique go bodily ‘numb’ upon studying it. 

The information was that considered one of her shut mates from drama college, Simon, had taken his life – inflicting her to expertise a visceral emotional response.  

‘I can recall all the tiny details of that day,’ she tells ‘I remember being so aware of my exact surroundings when that message came through. I know the exact time – it was just gone 11am. For the longest time I couldn’t take it in. I used to be on this bizarre, numb limbo.  

‘At some point, I just really broke down. It was such, such a shock. There are no words for how I felt.’ 

Like many individuals, Simon had not been open about his psychological well being struggles, says Cat, as a substitute he disguised his troubles with humour and heat. 

‘We met at drama school,’ she explains. ‘He was positively the joker of the category. Simon was the humorous one, he would at all times be within the nook making sarcastic feedback. He was an unimaginable musician and artist.

Cat and Simon, centre, have been shut when at college (Picture: Supplied)

‘But he was a really gentle soul, so sensitive and someone you could go to if you had anything you needed to talk about. It felt like he would always listen and really care about what he had to say.’ 

While Cat frequently spoke to Simon via cellphone calls, WhatsApp and Zoom, she final noticed him in particular person in December 2019, a yr and a month earlier than he took his personal life in January final yr. 

‘I think a lot of us in our friendship group kept jumping back to when we last spoke to him,’ Cat remembers. ‘We were asking ourselves whether we had checked in enough. But then I’d additionally say he wasn’t somebody that by no means felt or appeared unwell.’ 

Remembering how she felt within the aftermath of her good friend’s demise, Cat says, ‘At first, I couldn’t really feel like I may even breathe. I simply couldn’t do something.  

‘I didn’t know find out how to speak to somebody about it or find out how to deal with it. My household have been so fearful about me and everybody needed to ensure I used to be okay, and I simply couldn’t discover the phrases. The loss appeared to be past all comprehension. 

Cat describes Simon as the category clown and ‘joker’ of the pack (Picture: Supplied)

‘I didn’t need to be alive anymore after listening to about Simon’s suicide. I later discovered that the best statistics from individuals who take their very own life is somebody who misplaced somebody to suicide – which is so stunning in a method since you’d assume somebody would by no means try this figuring out how a lot it hurts everybody you left behind. But I completely get it, as a result of it places every little thing in perspective.  

‘You’re so younger, you assume how can somebody with every little thing to reside for not need to be right here anymore? It makes you consider your personal life in that method.’ 

Cat explains that she and her friendship group additionally struggled to specific their grief to 1 one other adequately. 

‘I felt like I could sort-of speak to friends that knew Simon, but as everyone was going through their own grieving process, I felt like I didn’t need to be a burden on anybody at the moment,’ she admits. ‘It was such a weird and dark time. As we were in lockdown, we were having nightly Zoom calls, which could last for hours where no-one says anything. It was just a really weird and dark time for us all.’ 

After an ongoing battle to understand the gravity of her good friend’s demise, Cat determined to achieve out to PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide, a charity Simon’s dad and mom had chosen to boost funds for, to try to come to phrases together with her loss. 

Cat determined she needed to do one thing with PAPYRUS after her good friend’s demise (Picture: Supplied)

‘PAPYRUS has just such an ethos of hope,’ she explains. ‘I think that was the other thing I was struggling with, I felt so alone and I didn’t know who else this had occurred to. 

‘It was one thing about feeling related to different individuals who had been there after which come out the opposite finish and lived to inform the story. Their podcast known as HOPECAST actually helped. They even have their HOPELINEUK the place you may simply ring and converse to somebody, which I knew I wanted. 

‘While at first I just wanted to get some support from them, I soon realised that I wanted to raise money for the charity too,’ provides Cat. ‘I didn’t know what it could appear like, however I simply desperately needed to be related with their work.’ 

Cat made the choice to do one thing ‘drastic’: chilly water swimming. ‘It became this really healing thing and I turned my experiences into a short film titled Fifty-Four Days,’ she says. ‘In it I really focus on what overwhelming grief looks like, but there’s additionally give attention to therapeutic and a woman who begins chilly water swimming, as a result of that for me saved my life. 

Cat White tries wild swimming

‘I want my film to be about hope and supporting each other,’ she provides. ‘I want it to be helpful for those left behind.’ 

Since then, not solely have PAPYRUS grow to be an official associate of her movie mission, however Cat has additionally grow to be an envoy for the charity and will probably be becoming a member of our Lifeline problem in July this yr, which entails climbing England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike, at night time.  

She tells that she believes the climb, which is to boost funds for PAPYRUS, will assist together with her grieving course of. 

Cat is now an envoy for PAPYRUS (Picture: PAPYRUS)

‘I think it sounds so inspiring,’ says Cat. ‘Arriving at the top of the mountain as the sun rises, it seems like such a beautiful metaphor. It makes me emotional even thinking about it. But I think there’s one thing highly effective about all of us climbing collectively in assist of PAPYRUS and doing this problem. 

‘Being physical works for me in terms of getting out of my own head, so I’m actually enthusiastic about that, and I believe it appears like an unimaginable problem. It feels hopeful, like that is going to be a very essential a part of my grief journey.’ 

How you may assist PAPYRUS

Join us on our superb Lifeline problem and assist elevate funds for PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide.

Just earlier than midnight on Saturday 2 July, 2022, we’ll be heading off into the darkish sky to climb England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike within the Lake District, for an unforgettable fundraising journey.

Although our journey will begin at night time, to mirror the important work the charity does in serving to households and younger individuals discover gentle throughout their darkest occasions, it would end simply in time for us to catch the solar rise throughout the beautiful surroundings.

Registration prices £39 and fundraisers should pledge to boost a miminum of £325 for PAPYRUS.

Places will probably be restricted, so to participate enroll right here.

Alongside her work with PAPYRUS, Cat has to juggle her performing profession (just lately starring in Ten Per Cent, the British model of Call My Agent!) and her work with the UN, the place she works as a gender advisor.  

Having additionally made Forbes List of 30 Under 30 this yr for her work together with her manufacturing firm, Kusini Productions – which goals to champion the voices of Black ladies and ladies – Cat acknowledges she has loads on her plate. 

However, as somebody who now works as an advocate for psychological well being consciousness, she is aware of she must take outing for herself. 

‘Burn out is real and I’m having a number of moments the place I believed, okay, I’m near capability and I believe that’s one thing I would like to keep in mind with my work with PAPYRUS,’ she explains. ‘I don’t need to say handle your self once I don’t do it myself. 

‘It’s so essential to take time for your self. Swimming and working are my comfortable locations. I must apply what I preach.’ 

Do you may have a narrative you’d prefer to share? Get in contact by emailing 

Share your views within the feedback beneath.

MORE : ‘I lost my daughter to suicide – I’ll cry each day for the remainder of my life’

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This yr sees the return of our sensible charity marketing campaign: Lifeline.

Our intention is easy – to boost as a lot cash as attainable for charity with YOUR assist.

For 2022 we have now chosen to assist PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide, an important organisation that works onerous to cut back the variety of younger individuals who take their very own lives.

As effectively as sharing their story to assist elevate consciousness, readers, charity supporters and celebrities will even be taking up England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike, at night time on July 2, 2022.

Click right here to seek out out extra and enroll.

To make a donation, click on right here.

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