Rather than talk about writer’s wellbeing, let’s talk about suicide.
Firstly, I am always happy to talk about suicide. It is not a taboo, not an embarrassing topic and I am not afraid of using the word. Therefore, please consider me a place of safety to have those discussions.
Secondly, asking someone if they have thought about suicide will not ‘put the idea into their heads’ unless it’s already there. It’s important to support someone having those thoughts, but not asking is not likely to stop them having the thoughts.
Thirdly, it’s surprisingly comment how many people experience thoughts of not wanting to be here, but are not actively suicidal. Just because someone has experienced thoughts of suicide does not automatically mean they are at risk of acting. However, knowing that history can help to support them.
‘Take a minute, change a life.’
If someone is thinking about suicide, they may be struggling to see positives in their life, may feel like a burden to those around them and may not feel any hope that things will improve. They may believe that ending all the feelings they experience will be better for everyone.
Therefore, I ask you: If there is anyone you are concerned about, take a minute to check in with them. Ask if they are okay. If they have made comments about feeling hopeless, about wanting everything to stop, or about feeling a burden: just check in and let them know you are glad to be around them. Direct them to some support, and if you feel able, ask if they’ve experienced thoughts of suicide.
It could change their life.
The Samaritans have a helpful little guide to listening, in case you’re worried about how to react when discussing Suicide.
– Talk Openly: Mention to your friends that it’s suicide prevention day and actually speak out loud about it
Mental Health Foundation (UK)
National Institute of Mental Health (US)
Mental Health America (US)
Mental Health Canada (CAN)
Samaritans (UK & ROI)
http://www.samaritans.org/ or call 116 123.