This week a brave young man spoke out about his Mum’s suicide. His name is Garreth Broke, he lives in Frankfurt in Germany and he has recently lost his Mum who took her own life after battling depression for fifteen years. In his post Garreth not only speaks from the heart about his Mum and the things he loved about her but also openly about her 4 serious suicide attempts and countless other times she came close. He mentions facts; 1 in 4 UK citizens will experience a mental health problem this year and more than 6000 people killed themselves in 2013 with suicide rates climbing from 2007 according to the Mental Health Foundation. The overall message of Garreth’s post, which has now been shared over 5000 times, is that we need to be talking when things are tough.
The scary thing about suicidal ideation is that it can really come out of the blue, people who are thinking of killing themselves are often unlikely to tell anyone that they are planning to harm themselves. I guess the answer is to try and prevent someone from reaching that point by trying to let out some of those feelings early on.
Suicide isn’t something glamorous and pretty to talk about. It’s scary and devastating but I really don’t think it’s selfish, I think it’s a sign of someone who is so desperate and hopeless and to me needs as much help and support as possible. Please talk to your friends and loved ones about how they are feeling, you might ultimately save a life. There’s no specific ‘type of person’ who takes their own lives, there’s no foolproof way of working out if someone may be considering harming themselves but you might be able to give them the opportunity to tell someone and then be able to help them find the support they need.
Check out The Self Esteem Team’s Switch on the Light campaign too!
If you are struggling please seek support from one of the amazing organizations we have in this country like The Samaritans, Mind or Papyrus to speak to a professional who might be able to help you to see an alternative or manage what you are feeling; or tell someone you trust like a friend, family member or medical professional such as a GP or mental health nurse.
Above all, please try to hold on to the hope that these feelings will too pass, you just have to try and hold on until the storm clears.