Angela Samata became a widow at 32, after her partner died by suicide. There were no warning signs and no concerns for his mental health. After talking to him on the phone, 15 minutes later she arrived home and he had taken his life. They were minutes that turned Angela’s life around, and the lives of their two young kids, transforming them into a family that had gone through one of the most seismic, extraordinary experiences. Having been the one to find her partner, Mark, Angela was also thrown into a world of shock and trauma.
Angela has since produced a sensational and impactful documentary with the BBC on suicide, meeting communities of people who have been through this shared experience (find this in the show notes). She’s also developed a life-saving training programme for suicide prevention, a 20-minute guide on what to do if someone you know is feeling suicidal. Please watch and pass on to whoever you can, especially those supporting people with depression or other mental illness.
Angela is infectiously passionate about many things. She’s a mental health campaigner, sharing her lived experience of suicide, working with the media, various committees and NGOs to bring about change. She’s also immersed in the art world, working with galleries such as Tate Liverpool. As if this wasn’t enough, she’s a star sourdough baker (check out her amazing creations on Instagram!). As well as her own very personal experience of grief, trauma and learning, we got into a deep dive on:
The active practice of quality listening
The learning emerging from filming her BBC documentary on experiences of suicide
Advice on supporting kids to express their grief
Adjusting to higher levels of anxiety and hypervigilance for loved ones’ safety
Prevention and post-vention and their integration
The need for more action and change around the issue of female suicide
Societal reliance on third sector organisations working in the suicide prevention
The benefits of sourdough baking
Friends, you can listen and share through the links below, from Friday 8am UK.
And if you jump down any rabbit holes on social today, check out Angela’s sourdough-specific Instagram. She’s baked no less than 122 amazing sourdough loaves, which are objects of beauty.