Don’t bottle feelings inside, urges heartbroken sister of man who lost his life to suicide

PUBLISHED: 10:03 23 August 2017

A picture of Stefanie Stavri with her brother Rene in happier times. Picture: Stefanie Stavri

A picture of Stefanie Stavri with her brother Rene in happier times. Picture: Stefanie Stavri

Stefanie Stavri

A Hackney woman who lost her brother to suicide this year has spoken out to raise awareness about mental health issues – and is urging anyone who feels desperate to “try one more conversation or one more phone call”.

Rene Stavri was 22 when he killed himself in January after a bout of depression. His sister Stefanie said the illness had “quickly spiralled out of control”, and “isolated him from human connection and the things that brought him joy”.

Stefanie, 30, described how she believes depression can make problems feel insurmountable and can push people away from you.

She believes “crippling shame” rather than sadness killed her brother – because depression can be misleading.

“The irony is that I couldn’t have been more proud of him,” she told the Gazette. “My heart is split into a thousand pieces as I question how so much love couldn’t save his life.”

She said her message for people who are experiencing suicidal thoughts would be: “Let people that love you in to dispel those myths.”

“Asking for help and support is far stronger than bottling feelings inside and trying to deal with them alone to save face,” she added.

“You may feel you are in total darkness right now and you cannot endure any more pain. But one of the most beautiful things about life is that it is transitional and the way you feel today may not be the way you feel tomorrow or in a month’s time.

“Please try one more conversation or one more phone call. It can bring candlelight to your darkness until the light starts to enter again.

“I know it’s hard to believe that there are people that can help you or you may even feel that your loved ones are better off without you.

“Depression lies to you.”

Stefanie believes NHS mental health resources are inadequate, and that the community should do its best to raise money for charities that can offer support to those who are struggling.

Her friend, celebrity yoga teacher Steffy White, is holding a fundraiser yoga class in London Fields in aid of male suicide charity CALM in tribute to Rene at 10am on September 9.

You can call Samaritans on 116 123 for confidential emotional support.

Latest Hackney Stories

Yesterday, 18:46

County Championship Division Two, day three: Northamptonshire (346) trail Middlesex (187 & 374-9) by 215 runs

Yesterday, 18:00

London Lions have captured six foot ten inch big man Kervin Bristol in a massive coup for the club following his season with Vytautas in Lithuania last year.

Yesterday, 17:00

The former Spurs striker enjoyed a two-and-a-half year spell at White Hart Lane

Yesterday, 18:27

Four former friends on trial for murder have turned against each other in the dock at the Old Bailey, with one accused of calling another a “snitch” in graffiti on a prison toilet wall.

Yesterday, 16:59

Gillett Square in Dalston hosted an annual skateboarding festival at the weekend, raising £1,750 for a charity that aims to bring boarding to Palestine’s youth.

Yesterday, 14:00

The left-back talked up the potential of Myles Judd, Dan Happe and Marvin Ekpiteta after Saturday’s win

Yesterday, 13:56

As students picked up A-level results at BSix College, one former pupil was on hand to inspire those that weren’t in a celebratory mood.

Yesterday, 12:00

The 50-year-old reflected on the Premier League loss to Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium


To celebrate LGBT history month, Hackney resident Amanda talks about her journey to becoming a foster carer, with the council’s support and training.

Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Hackney Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists