A woman has broken her silence about her husband’s suicide and told how she was ostracised by her local mosque and community following the tragedy.

The woman, who has asked to not be named, said she could not understand why her husband took his own life, but that community members were quick to blame her.

“Some said I must have done something terrible and shameful which drove him to commit suicide.

“Some friends and family even asked me for proof of paternity for the children.

“Others called him a coward, assuming he had committed a gross sin that he was too ashamed to admit, claiming that he preferred taking his life to facing up to reality.

“No-one would acknowledge mental health issues.

“Nor were they concerned about the family he left behind.

“All they cared about was the scandal of him killing himself.”

She says her husband had been faithful members of their local mosque in Lancashire, yet despite that, the mosque refused to bury her husband.

She did not wish to name the mosque as she feels it would bring undue attention to Muslims but little would be done about the issue itself.

She said, “I was told that there is no need giving him a Muslim burial since he took his own life and would be going to hellfire.

“I could not understand how they were being so cruel.

“Eventually he had an Islamic burial but it was carried out by a different mosque.”

Not knowing why her husband took his life led her to question herself and scrutinise her marriage wondering how she had missed any warning signs.

“We don’t know why he did it. But I was left to pick up the pieces and deal with looking after the children and face financial pressures.

“After losing the love of my life in the most tragic way, I was ostracised by my community and faced insensitive, crass rumours. People were very quick to blame me. I even blamed myself for a while for not noticing any change in behaviour or any indication that he was troubled.

“I had no emotional support from the community. It left me so confused and upset.

“I cried out that my late husband and I deserve some respect despite the tragedy but I just faced further rejection and humiliation. No one deserves to go through what I went through.

“What if he was severely depressed or mentally ill and managed to cover it up?

“The mosque and the community are not willing to acknowledge that.”

The woman said her experience has now led her to question the role of the mosque in the community. She said they are supposed to be there to “enrich the soul” yet when men approach the mosque for support and help, they are often made to feel inadequate.

“As well as being prayer places, mosques should double up as counselling centres.

“Especially for men. Women are more likely to discuss their problems with their friends and family. Men seem to be less reluctant to do that.

“Mosques should have a social outlet for men, similar to the Men’s Sheds.

“Men need a group where they can socialise and talk in a safe place that can build them up if they’re feeling low.

“Mosques have plenty of money. Why don’t they allocate some of it towards a counselling session or men’s groups?

“Our mosques need to understand that mental health can affect anyone, including those who pray five times a day. Mental health doesn’t discriminate.”