HELP - Jim's Story has been set up as a fund under the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) umbrella with the aim of educating, raising awareness and providing a deeper understanding of mental health and the factors that affect wellbeing; as well as providing people with the practical skills and knowledge needed to spot the triggers and signs of poor mental health and give people the confidence to step in and support someone where needed.
We all may experience poor mental health through our lives, however through awareness and education we can increase our knowledge around mental health and recognise symptoms in ourselves and in each other. No one should have to face it alone.
James Simpson (known as Jim) joined the Royal Navy on the 16 Jan 2000. Starting his career as a Warfare Officer, he subsequently re-streamed as a Marine Engineer Submariner. Jim had an impressive career, attaining the rank of Captain in just over 18 years and was hugely respected by those who had the honour of working with him.
Whilst Jim excelled in his naval career his greatest accomplishment in life was as a husband to Claire and father to his two children. His calm, understanding approach earned him a relationship with his children that was full of fun, love, respect, and admiration.
In 2020 Jim's family, friends and colleagues were left shocked and completely devastated when he tragically took his own life. The news of Jim's death sent shock waves through the entire submarine community with everyone left stunned and struggling to comprehend how this had happened to someone like Jim; someone who had shown no indication that his mental health was suffering and a man who excelled at everything in life, from his career, to being father and everything in-between.
The impact of Jim's death has been catastrophic and immeasurable, with the lives of his family being torn apart. It is too painful to imagine what Jim was going through and even more painful to know that he was unnecessarily going through it alone.
The fund has been set up by Jim's family and friends who are driven to try and identify and support those who are suffering in silence. Their aim is to prevent another person suffering as Jim did and another family having to deal with such devastation to their lives.
The RNRMC will use the HELP- Jim's Story fund to support the Royal Navy and its industry partners to spread this important message through education amongst the service community to help prevent another sailor or Royal Marine finding themselves in the same situation as Jim.