If you are struggling with feelings of suicide or any other pressures, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14. Don’t be afraid, reach out.
Today is World Suicide Awareness Day. Suicide is a tragedy for any family. Like any death of a family member or friend it hits you like a concrete bat. You’re left to ponder the “why’s” and deal with the overwhelming notion that maybe you could have done something about it. These questions don’t lead to answers. They lead to more questions.
Sadly, I have known a few people who have made the choice to take their own life. I know I am a weirdo, Dear Reader, but I was never angry at them for making the choice (a common reaction to suicide), I guess its because I have been there and attempted to take my own life. I guess I understand. I don’t see the selfishness, I see the opposite. It’s counter-intuitive to take your own life and it’s not something that you just make your mind up and do it. Just like cancer, mental illness is deadly and yet when someone dies of mental illness, the family and friends feel shame and embarrassment. I have heard stories of families telling people that their relation died of a heart-attack, stroke, anything else other than suicide.
I have spoken before about the need for better crisis support services, community intervention and support. I know that we can’t save everybody, it’s an impossible quest to take on. My argument is that we should do everything we can to try and save as many people and their families from this devastating outcome. The stigma that is firmly attached to mental illness blocks positive intervention at every turn. The ridiculous argument that talking about suicide and mental health increases incidence is getting a bit old and is detrimental to people living with mental illness and their families. The shocking amount of ignorance that surrounds mental illness and suicide continues to pain me deeply. I think of those I have lost to mental illness and I get angry that people could have such disgusting attitudes towards my friends. If we could just talk…be open and honest that yes, life gets tough, sometimes too tough for people to bare. It’s not enough to wax lyrical with an Awareness campaign (I think it’s a great start) but we need to go further. I will share my story, in the hope that others will find a way to share their own or find strength to seek help.
I don’t have all the answers, in fact, I dont have any, just ideas and a really loud mouth. I hope this post gets you thinking and more importantly talking about it. What does it mean to you? What are your thoughts on the appalling suicide rates?
And please if you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, depression, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or see your doctor. If that is too much, reach out to a friend for support. You can always chat to me…I love the sound of my own advice. *wink*