A mother has spoken of her sorrow as she marks what would have been her son’s 16th birthday.

Mason Clark was 14 years old when he took his own life in September 2021. He was found dead near his home in West Grinstead after sending a message of goodbye to his family and friends.

To mark what would have been his 16th birthday on March 22, his mother, Jessica, set up a campaign to raise money for mental health charities and a falconry centre that Mason liked to visit.

Jessica said: “Mason was a beautiful, kind, funny and inquisitive soul and his death has left us devastated. Life will never be the same without him.

“On a normal Monday afternoon, Mason walked around 20 minutes away from his home and sent messages to me and a friend to say goodbye.

“Mason said he loved me with all his heart, but Mason still took his own life.”

The Argus: Mason's mother, Jessica, created a fundraiser to mark what would have been his 16th birthdayMason's mother, Jessica, created a fundraiser to mark what would have been his 16th birthday (Image: GoFundMe/Jessica Clark)

Jessica, who works with young people suffering with mental health issues, said she “did not see that my baby boy had reached a level whereby he felt that this was his only option”.

“I don’t have the words to adequately describe what it’s like and if I spend too long focusing on the reality, I find I can’t breathe,” she said.

“Instead of taking Mason out on March 22, I spent the day with my sister, doing things he liked and absorbing his short but impactful life into my essence.”


Since his death, Jessica has spoken with a number of organisations and agencies the coroner named as “requiring improvements”.

She said: “This has been very slow and frustrating at times, with agencies focused on sweeping statements about strategy and changes, rather than considering if their organisations’ processes or interactions with their staff are enabling those strategies to occur.

“Some agencies have been open to talking and exchanging ideas on improvements, but sadly not all.”

Her crowdfunder raised more than £18,000 for a range of charities, including Childline, Inquest, Papyrus, Suicide Prevention and Co and 4TheYouth, as well as Huxley’s Birds of Prey Centre and Gardens in Horsham which Jessica said was one of Mason’s favourite places to visit.

Donations to the fundraiser can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/f/Masons-mental-health-legacy.

If you or someone you are concerned about is having a difficult time, you can call the Samaritans for free on 116 123.