Dating in mansfield
Last month in Leamington Spa they held the first of what they hope will be many public forums.
The former footballer Clark Carlisle talked of his own suicide attempt and the audience were invited to contribute their own stories, many of which had never been aired before.
A few days later Mansfield phoned again: “She thought she was being watched, listened to and, therefore, what had happened was getting back to the company,” he says.
He arranged to meet Anna that Sunday and when he called to check the arrangements she replied briskly, “Yes, Dad, yes, Dad – I’ll see you on Sunday. He knows now that people who have decided in advance that they’re going to kill themselves often feel a great sense of relief, because “they don’t have to explain themselves to anybody else”.
By all accounts, it was a groundbreaking, healing and highly emotional event.
Mansfield’s experience with Anna, who was just 44, is testament to how swiftly and unexpectedly self-destructive urges can descend.
In the programme for the game against AFC Wimbledon, answering fans' queries, he said: 'I was born and bred in Mansfield ...
As we talk, it becomes clear that Anna, the self-described family “peacemaker” had been particularly close to her father; she’s “stuck by him through all the vicissitudes”.
The QC has five children from his 17-year marriage to Melian Bordes and one son with his second wife, film maker Yvette Vanson, whom he was with for 30 years.
Mansfield freely admits he feels more at home with children than adults.
A few years ago, when a Sunday newspaper interviewed him and Anna for a family column, she described the parental relationship thus: “He was the greatest kid of all, he was brilliant,” before explaining how she could always count on him in a crisis.
"There’s a taboo about this and people don’t talk about it.