The Trust was set up in 1998 in memory of Charlie Waller, a young man who committed suicide whilst suffering from depression. Shortly after his death, his family founded the Trust in order to educate young people on the importance of staying mentally well and how to do so.
Over the years the Trust has grown into an independent charity that works with partners in the health service, education and the private sector across the country. We also work with other charities and family trusts with similar aims and backgrounds.
To the outside world Charlie Waller had everything to live for, a successful career, good friends and a loving family. In September 1997 Charlie committed suicide at the age of 28. He was suffering from depression and no longer had the strength to cope with life. Shortly after this tragic event his family founded The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust.
The aim of the Trust is to increase awareness of the signs and the dangers of depression amongst young people and to encourage those who may be depressed to seek help. It also encourages those that are well to pick up the symptoms in others and persuade them to get help.
Five hundred people attended Charlie Waller’s funeral. He was neither old, nor a local stalwart such as a publican; he was not a young victim whose senseless murder provoked commentators to talk of “a community in shock”. Nor was he a figure of renown, whose obsequies the great and good felt bound to attend. Charlie Waller was simply a 28 year-old advertising executive from Fulham, unknown beyond his contemporaries. His death had an impact which continues to affect those who knew him.
Since Charlie’s death in 1997, his parents, family and friends have worked through the Trust to increase awareness of the symptoms and dangers of depression and remove the stigma that is attached to mental illness.