Somebody I once knew very well committed suicide last week. I don’t know if I should be feeling a certain emotion. Should I be sad? Angry at the world for betraying her? Should I be frustrated that these things happen and we can’t prevent them? At first, to be honest, I was shocked. And slightly unbelieving. You see this person was the happiest, smiling and bubbly people you’d meet. At least that was what it looked like from the outside. I suppose she only really let us see this side of her and who knows what demons were running rampant inside her mind and body.
Its frightening to think that suicide doesn’t have a stereotype. Its not a particular type of person. At least you can’t look at someone’s face and tell whether they are so unhappy that they would consider ending their life.
I think one thing that this sad, terrible, awful news has brought home is to never stop loving and caring. Never stop asking ‘how are you’, ‘how can I help‘, ‘do you want to talk?’
Never stop listening to others. Never let us bring religion, gender, sexuality, beliefs or values between us. Lets turn to one another in hope that no one feels so let down by their life that the only escape is suicide.
Don’t let suicide ever be an option. Be there when someone needs you. Be there even when they don’t. And I sincerely hope that there will be someone you can turn to in your darkest times to remind you why life is beautiful, why it is worth living.
Every day is a new beginning, take a deep breath and start again.
Remember that it is not just people with mental health problems who commit suicide. Often its the ones who seemingly have everything going for them. Don’t delude yourself by thinking it can’t happen to anyone you know. It really can. It happened to someone I knew.
Here are a few places to go if you ever find yourself caring for someone who is having suicidal ideations. (These are all for people living in the UK but I am sure there are equivalents to this in every country.
- NHS 111
- 999 emergency call
- The samaritans helpline
These are all open 24/7 days a week
Finally. Mental health just like a broken bone, a chest infection or cancer, is a health problem. People with mental health often feel isolated, different, judged and unable to speak up about their problems. Lets try and build a world in which no one has to ever feel guilty for being ill.