This Is Something We Should Talk About...

Updated: Mar 26, 2021

This isn't an easy topic to discuss, nor will it ever be. This month of September marks suicide awareness month whilst also being World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10th. I believe it's something we shouldn't exactly ignore.

First and foremost, I must advocate that if you are having any negative thoughts, please call Samaritans on 116 123.

There is a lot of worries when approaching this topic, and it can never be easy. If I'm honest with you as I am writing this post right now, I don't even know where to start with this. I want to raise awareness as much as I can, whilst proceeding in a sensitive and cautious manner. The Coronavirus pandemic has impacted so many people. The pandemic was never going to be easy; unfortunately it has changed the lives of many and given us a very difficult and challenging time.

It can be uncertain how to approach this, but after reading many articles on supporting people through these challenging times, it's best advised that you should take everything that has been said in a serious manner. If someone has told you they are experiencing suicidal thoughts then it’s important that you take them seriously and offer them the space to talk about it. This could open a few doors and help you understand how that individual is feeling and later decide where to go next with your support. I've read, and this sounds like the best advice there is, that if someone is personally sharing with you how they feel, it's probably best to not offer them personal advice and opinion - approach it with open questions to help them find their way through their problems. Perhaps if you suggest something of your own opinion it could be taken differently? The only thing you can really do is assure the person that you will support them through this challenging time and demonstrate you are a good listener. To add to this, you can also tell the person valuable comments such as "you mean a lot to me". This will show that you care and that they are loved. If at all possible, you could make the suggestion for the person to call Samaritans who have volunteers available 24/7, 365 days a year.

There are many situations in life where sometimes we can sit down and actually realise "I'm not okay". There could even be occasions where you're feeling low, but you can't quite place your finger on what's getting you down. I'll openly say that during this pandemic I've felt like this a lot - I've had many occasions where I just break down in tears for no reason and found myself getting very very down. These could all be signs that you're struggling to cope. If you find yourself like this, just a heads up that it looks different in everybody so don't compare yourself to others. In fact, it may surprise you but on one in five people who call the Samaritans are feeling suicidal. If you're feeling down and low, it's still vital to advocate that there are people who WILL listen and support you. You may think it's "pathetic" or "not worth calling someone", but what if you feel worse down the line? I completely get the mindset of the "I'll get over this business" - this was how I felt too. Truthfully, I didn't get over my sadness but from this, I am benefiting myself and now taking action. From experience, it's so good to talk to someone and get my feelings across. It really helps me to understand and evaluate my own emotions.

If you have lost someone to suicide, I understand it can never be nice, but you are not alone. There are so many support groups offering beneficial advice that could help you in the long run. Together, you're able to understand and relate to everyone's emotions and feelings. Normally these groups are even run by volunteers who have gone through bereavement like this themselves. Understandably people get worried about attending these groups and that in itself is okay - they can be rather nerve wracking and it takes a lot of courage to go! If you decide it's not for you, then you can simply leave the session early. Alternatively, if you're feeling better about going you can always re-attend at another date.

I hope this article is able to offer some advice and again I'll repeat the Samaritans number on 116 123. Thank you to Samaritans for working with me on this piece and providing all the necessarily information.

Thank you for reading,

EJ x

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