Eastlight resident releases self-help book

Martin Reeves holding his book and smiling

Surrounded by friends and laughter, Martin Reeves is the life and soul of Beaumont House, an Eastlight older persons' scheme in Coggeshall.

It’s difficult to imagine that when he first moved into the scheme a decade ago, he spent the first two years barely speaking to a soul. Martin was struggling to cope following the suicide of his 19-year-old son in 2012 and his beloved wife’s death two years earlier. After being homeless and spending a year in temporary accommodation, he had moved into Beaumont House with just half a bin bag full of belongings. But eventually, he began connecting with his neighbours and developed an “obsession with living”.

At the same time, Martin began a PhD in Psychology, and wrote a book called: ʻMemoirs of a Failed Kamikaze – a survivors guide to suicide’. He regularly supports a range of agencies. 

In Martin’s words, the book’s key message is: “There is light at the end of the tunnel. Once you get out of that hole, you never want to go back.” If you’re feeling low or lonely, Martin advises you to talk to someone you know, try something new or simply occupy your mind – anything from cleaning to going for a walk can help.

Martin and a group of his neighbours get together weekly to talk openly about feeling lonely, as well as celebrating special occasions together, such as birthdays and Christmas. Neighbour Maureen says: “If it wasn’t for Martin there’s lots of us here who wouldn’t be coming out of our front doors. He has really helped me to join in with things – makes me feel part of everything.”

Struggling with your mental health?

We’ve funded a new Tenant Support and Wellbeing Service that’s free for you to call any time to talk about anything you might be struggling with. Call 0330 094 8845.