In this new hour-long documentary, BBC presenter Tara Mills delves into the profound impact her brother Richard’s suicide has had on her family, 15 years after his passing.
Tara highlights that suicide stands as the leading cause of death for men under 50 in the UK and delves into the prevailing mental health crisis affecting many in Northern Ireland.
In 2000, Richard Mills emerged onto the news photography scene with the Irish News. He later served as a front-line photojournalist with The Times, spending time in conflict-ridden regions like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, capturing the struggles of those living in the midst of turmoil and civil unrest. Tragically, Richard took his own life while on assignment in Zimbabwe.
Tara, along with her nephew Finn, Richard’s son, intimately share their memories of Richard and embark on an 8,000-mile journey to Zimbabwe to meet some of the individuals who spent time with him in his final days.
Back in Northern Ireland, Tara travels across the region to witness firsthand the crucial support offered by local charities and community groups for those silently suffering and for the families left behind by suicide.
Tara Mills says: “People might ask why it has taken 15 years since Richard died to make this film and there are several reasons. It’s primarily about Finn and a wish to retrace Richard’s final steps, a journey of discovery to find out more about the dad he has virtually no memory of. It’s also about my children, they’re old enough now to be told what happened and I want them to know about their uncle. For my family, the confusion and disbelief can still stop us in our tracks. We hoped the people he worked with in Zimbabwe, who saw him the day he died, might give us some clues about the why.”
“Tara Mills: Life After Loss” was produced for BBC Northern Ireland by Below The Radar and will be broadcast on Wednesday, 1st November, at 10:40 PM on BBC One NI and BBC iPlayer. Additional information and access to a selection of top-notch mental health content from the BBC’s extensive collection across TV, radio, and digital platforms can be found on the BBC’s dedicated online resource, BBC Headroom.