February 12, 2013

Paul, a Time to Change bloggerWarning, some readers may find this post triggering.

I was sat in the staff canteen at work when a colleague, reading an article about a man who had committed suicide, turned to me and said “I don’t know how anybody can be so selfish, leaving behind a wife and family.” My heart sunk as I myself have on 2 occasions attempted suicide. I was horrified by his comments and I struggled to hold back the tears. I went back to work wishing I had had the confidence to challenge my colleague’s views.

Whilst I can understand the anguish families must go through when they struggle to come to terms with a relative who has taken their own life, I also think that people need to be more understanding about why someone might take their life.

I suffer from severe clinical depression and have feelings of loneliness and isolation. If you feel as though you have nobody to talk to it can be so hard opening up. How do you tell a best friend, mother or father that you wake up every day with thoughts of suicide?

It’s so easy for people to make judgements or assumptions about those who commit suicide. However, I think times are changing are and that the view of my colleague is not everybody’s opinion but I believe we still have a long way to go in educating people on the effects of mental illness.

We need to keep being open and keep mental health in the public domain and to make people feel they are not alone. There are people out there that care and are willing to listen. Campaigns like Time to Change really do make a massive difference in people’s lives. We need to keep challenging people’s views and help end stigma and discrimination.

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