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PRsonal: ‘I told them their dad had died’: Meet the Headlight Project’s Catherine Devereux

In this series of podcasts, Charlotte Nichols, managing director of PR agency Harvey & Hugo, gets up close and PRsonal with a variety of well-known business faces. Nothing is off limits as she digs deep to get to know the person behind the professional...

In this episode…

Catherine Devereux was a happily married mum to three daughters. Then on May 6 2018 her entire world was shattered.

Her husband, Russ, committed suicide.

In this raw episode of PRsonal, Catherne bravely opens up about the harrowing aftermath – from the moment the police arrived to having to tell her children their dad had died.

Since then, Catherine has launched The Headlight Project – a Teesside charity that helps those bereaved by suicide – and she talks with host Charlotte Nichols about the work being done to help others.

This is a gut-wrenching episode. 

Key moments:

00:32 – The date that will be printed on Catherine’s heart forever
01:16 – The incident that had a ‘massive impact’ on Russ before he died
02:13 – The moment Catherine heard the news about Russ’ death
04:23 – Waiting for the police to break the news  
06:08 – Realising she was going to have to tell her daughters their dad had died
08:26 – ‘We just cried’: Breaking the news to her three girls
11:45 – Talking about what happened with her children
15:24  - ‘They are why I have to just keep going’
16:03  - ‘Did you ever consider suicide yourself?’
19:22 – The ‘physical pain’ she felt in the aftermath
21:19 – The anger felt in the painful aftermath of Russ’ suicide
26:06 – Does Catherine blame for the Health and Safety Executive for what happened?
27:08 – The ‘three pairs of blue eyes’ that keep Russ’ memory alive
30:26 – ‘I’ve lost my Catholic faith a bit since he died’
34:16 – Why Catherine set up the Headlight Project
37:13 – Teesside’s reputation as Britain’s biggest suicide ‘hotspot’
40:01 – ‘There’s no shame – but there is shame in the lack of support’
42:26 – The ‘huge misconception’ around talking about death with children
46:22 – The ‘wonderful’ support that helps keep the charity going
50:23 – The work Catherine is most proud of
51:14 – Why life is worth fighting for – even on the darkest days
52:40 – How Catherine rates herself – from looks to humour
56:45 – How Harvey & Hugo can help your business unlock the power of podcasting


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