A tribute by our Associate, Todd Hannula, to Veronique Raingeval, former Programme Director of Common Purpose. Veronique, who touched the lives of many, truly was an inspiring woman changemaker. She took her life in 2016.

Impact

I used to see her every couple of months. She got me. We shared an interest in philosophy. Not the academic type – the practical and tangential. But, I got busy. I was busy making new new things. We didn’t see each other so much last year. It felt like we did – but I checked my calendar, no meetings.

Really?

A meeting might have made a difference. Could have made the difference she already made to me. She was a meteor to my dinosaurs.

What was it she said? No – it wasn’t said. It was asked.

“Why are you an angry man?”

She was right. She could see.

I fixed that anger; she did that.

And then there were the dozens of connections. She orchestrated some crazy shit. I walked around a sculpture park with a guy who was last on my list of people I should care about. I was an angry man – don’t judge. Turned out to be one hell of a walk. Game changer.

What happens when we listen? Shit happens. That’s real.

She made me laugh with her thick French accent. An American discussing philosophy with a French lady in Northern England is a cocktail of cadence and emphasis.

What happens when we take chances with people? We understand more.

She was the master of seeking to understand. But she couldn’t understand the one person who mattered most – her.

Veronique decided to check out of the game on Monday… just like that – all gone.

I’m shocked, sick, and suddenly aware.

What to do if you’re worried a loved one is thinking of taking their life. 

If you’re concerned that a loved one is contemplating taking their life, don’t worry about raising the subject with them. Your conversation won’t make them act.

As an individual, you’re not expected to make a judgement call. It is up to experts to do this. Your responsibility is to report it to a trained professional and let them decide on the most appropriate course of action.

This can include the police and charities such as CALM (call 0800 58 58 58) or The Samaritans (call 24 hours a day on 116 123 in the UK).