Triangulate was formed following the death of Peter Brook in February 2008. Peter was an adored and adoring husband, dad, friend and colleague who took his own life following a severe stress-related depressive illness. He had not suffered from depression before. He became ill after starting an exciting new job role which was a welcome and natural career opportunity.
Peter trained in agriculture and farm management, working on a large estate in Dorset before moving to Hampshire to lecture at Sparsholt College. After 14 years at the college he left to join the organisation which became the Adult Learning Inspectorate (ALI) where he spent 7 years as a lead inspector. Working nationally Peter both led and worked on inspections in further education (often land-based) colleges, with work-based training providers and in prisons and young offender institutions. Without fail colleagues and inspected organisations comment on Peter’s professionalism to his work and his unfailing commitment to ensuring learners were given the very best of opportunities.
An inspector colleague of Peter’s said ‘In our job it’s also sometimes easy to forget why we do it – which is to improve the lives of learners and disadvantaged adults. There will be many thousands of people who have benefited from Peter’s life apart from those of us lucky to have been in direct contact with him’.
In January 2007 Peter became Principal of Riseholme College, the land-based college of the University of Lincoln. After becoming ill he resigned in September 2007. Returning home to Romsey, Peter was recovering and had started working again both for Sparsholt College and Ofsted (which had taken on the ALI’s inspection remit).
“Nothing about our Dad was ever about himself and that includes his death. This is a sad occasion but it would be many times sadder if everyone today wasn’t shocked into realising what’s important in life and to appreciate what they’ve got. I want you to take something from our Dad’s death and think about him and all the people like him. They might not be the life and soul of the party, they may not force their achievements onto those around them and they will never put anyone else down. These are the good people of the world and I want everyone to give these people the huge amount of respect that we have for our Dad.”
Peter’s greatest love in life was his family. Nothing gave him greater pleasure than to be with his wife, Bridget and children, Meghann, Matt and Nick – as well as in latter years, son-in-law David. Moving to Romsey in 1986 the family were involved with their local schools, the boys’ football teams, the area wind orchestra and especially Romsey Abbey. Peter sang tenor in the Abbey Choir for 14 years and during that time served as housemaster, chair of the choir’s Friends Committee and took part in many Epiphany Supper entertainment sketches.
Peter’s death leaves a gaping hole in our family. Our lives will never be the same again. We miss him daily as our greatest support and friend. But from every tragedy there has to be some good, and immediately following Peter’s death we knew we had to make a stand and do all we could to minimise the impact of this dreadful illness on other families and employers.
What we are doing
So this is what we’re doing, A small group set up Triangulate to raise awareness of mental health issues in the workplace, to signpost to sources of support and to challenge the stigma associated with the illness. We do have experts on the group but our greatest strength comes from being prepared to stand up and work towards making a difference.
We have established links with several of the national charities who work to raise awareness and to support those affected by mental illness. We are grateful to all of them for their ongoing support, both in terms of resourcing and guidance. Special thanks are given to the Centre for Mental Health (formerly Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health) who have given us so much guidance and support and who believed in us when we said we wanted to do something to make a difference. We have worked in support of Mindful Employer since our early days and are proud to promote all that Mindful Employer stands for.