As many people are aware, the week surrounding September 10 is National Suicide Prevention Week. Since 2003, this nationwide event provides worldwide action in order to prevent suicide. It has become increasingly more popular to promote on social media, and the subject matter is slowly becoming more spoken about and less taboo as the years go on.
This time of year is a difficult one for many, including myself. Despite this, I would like to use this as an opportunity to tell my story regarding suicide and mental health, in the hope to inspire others and raise further awareness of mental health issues.
I have suffered with mental health issues for many years, with a long list of diagnosis including severe depression and borderline personality disorder. With this disorder comes many complications and symptoms, including frequent suicidal thoughts. Research has shown that about 75% of people with BPD will make at least one suicide attempt in their lifetime, a statistic I am part of.
You will often see posts from people urging others to ‘check on their friends’ and ‘keep their messages open’, however sometimes it isn’t as easy as this. With my particular disorder, I push people away. I retreat and reject help in fear of becoming vulnerable to other people. With BPD, people are often seen as attention seeking due to the rapid fluctuation of mood and find it difficult to ask for help from loved ones. As difficult it is for the sufferer, it is equally as difficult for friends and family to offer support in a time of crisis. If this is the case, there are many options in order to get the best support you can.
If you or someone you know is suffering with severe suicidal thoughts, call 911 or visit A&E. There is plenty of support in place when suffering a mental health crisis. A&E offers 24-hour advice and support with the option to speak to a mental health professional. You may also be asked to do an assessment in order to receive the correct care. I have had numerous visits to A&E for mental health reasons and the team in Cardiff have always provided me with necessary care.
If you can’t speak to a loved one, speak to a stranger. Some people, including myself, find it much easier to confide in someone that doesn’t have any connection to you. Helplines such as the Samaritans are great for this and allow you to confide freely in a stranger. Papyrus is also a great messaging helpline for people who don’t feel comfortable talking on the phone.
People care and people love you, and they want to support you. It is extremely difficult to see your worth in a mental health crisis, but something that I found helped me was knowing that there is something or somebody out there who is better because you are around. Realising the potential of your self-worth and prioritising yourself is an incredibly important step in recovery and in gaining back your independence.
One of the biggest turning points for me was reading books from people who had suffered similar trauma. Relating to someone who knows what you are going through allows you to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Vex King’s ‘Good Vibes, Good Life’ was a huge inspiration for me and allowed me to see how my actions and emotions play a part in finding lasting happiness. This book pushed me in the right direction to find my way out of the darkness and begin to live my life again. I recommend it to anyone who may be interested.
You are important and you matter. Just because you’ve hit a few bumps on the way, you can still make an incredible life for yourself and help other people who are going through the same. Just because you cannot see this for yourself, it doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Recovery is real and recovery is for everyone. You are a blessing, and everyone is rooting for you.
CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably, for men aged 15 to 35.
Phone: 0800 58 58 58 (daily, 17:00 to midnight)
Men’s Health Forum
24/7 stress support for men by text, chat and email.
Mental Health Foundation
Provides information and support for anyone with mental health problems or learning disabilities.
Promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems.
Phone: 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday, 09:00 to 18:00)
Young suicide prevention society.
Phone: HOPElineUK 0800 068 4141 (Monday to Friday, 10:00 to 17:00 and 19:00 to 22:00, and 14:00 to 17:00 on weekends)
Rethink Mental Illness
Support and advice for people living with mental illness.
Phone: 0300 5000 927 (Monday to Friday, 09.30 to 16:00)
Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.
Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)
Emotional support, information and guidance for people affected by mental illness, their families and carers.
Textcare: comfort and care via text message, sent when the person needs it most: www.sane.org.uk/textcare
Peer support forum: www.sane.org.uk/supportforum
Information on child and adolescent mental health. Services for parents and professionals.
Phone: Parents’ helpline 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday, 09.30 to 16:00)