I wanted to do a post about an issue that is gaining a lot of awareness at the moment (and understandingly), Mental Health. As you are all aware no doubt, the world has just lost a very amazing man, Robbin Williams. Like most other children of my generation, Robin Williams was there throughout my childhood, making me laugh, cry, think, he played a huge part in my growing up and I am extremely sad that he felt he needed to take his own life. I don’t tend to believe everything I hear in the media because I don’t think everyone tells the truth (a story is a story as long as it sounds convincing at the end of the day) so I don’t know the reasons why or what was going on exactly. I know he has suffered through out his life from interviews I have seen him do, but regardless of the reasons, he was a comedic genius, an amazing actor and had a voice like an angel (now I know you’re all remembering Mrs Doubtfire!) and it was such a tragic loss. He will never be forgotten.
But the realism of the situation is that people are committing suicide every day. Just yesterday, in Darlington (where I live) a young man climbed out his hotel window, 4 stories up, and was going to jump! The police took 2 hours to eventually coax the man back inside (thank god!) but I, who at the time was at work, was absolutely disgusted at the reaction of the public. There were crowds of hundreds of people watching, encouraging him to jump, clapping, filming, cheering, calling him an attention seeker, people even said that his causing the town to be blocked off was a nuisance! And it got me thinking, what kind of world do we live in when we can’t find compassion for someone who has, most obviously, reached the end of their tether! What gives these people the right to think that because they have had to park further from the town center or take an extra 5 minutes out of their oh so busy schedule to walk around the barricades that were put up, that this person is nothing more than an inconvenience to them? This man was going to jump off a building! Kill himself, leave his mother and father, brothers and sisters, daughters and sons, with a hole in their heart that would never fully heal! Have we become so self involved and pessimistic and heartless that, rather than feel worry or empathy, we immediately attack someone who has hit rock bottom? It was just unbelievable, I actually spent 30 minutes with a customer that spent the whole time rushing me because he wanted to get back to watching this poor man toil with the idea of ending his life or not. I felt completely disgusted. (Not to mention, did these people even think about what they would actually witness if this guy did jump? While they were stood there with their children wishing they had a tub of popcorn? They would never be able to wipe those images from their minds!)
Mainly what got to me though is the fact this this poor fella had reached a point where he saw no other option, like Robin Williams, he felt there was only one option left for him, and if he hadn’t been in the town center where someone noticed and talked him down, he could have died yesterday and that is something that should never be an option. Obviously (as I said before) I don’t know people’s individual situations but there should always be another option. People who feel they have to hurt themselves, try to kill them selves or even before that, people who are just feeling down and overwhelmed, rather than being coaxed to jump off a building should be encouraged to seek help! No-one should feel so alone and desperate. There is always someone who will happily listen and try to help. Even if that’s a professional who can administer drugs or professional advice or a loved one who can just hold you when your feeling down, make you laugh, listen to how you’re feeling, anything. You are never alone. This world can sometimes seem so heartless and cold but there honestly are people out there who are willing and eager to help.
If you do feel like you want to harm yourself SEEK HELP! I know it’s easier said than done. A lot of people don’t like to acknowledge issues, or talk to people or even admit to themselves that they can’t cope but you have to try. Just try talking to someone, even once.
Below are a few services to call for help and advice and remember, no reason it a stupid reason, you feel what you feel at the end of the day and no-one can judge you for that. We all have our limits of coping and what we can and can’t cope with.
Samaritans – Offering emotional support 24 hours a day – Tel: 08457 90 90 90
NHS Mental Health Helpline – Specialising in listening, emotional support and wellbeing – Tel: 0500 639000
Mind Infoline – Provides confidential mental health information services (9am-5pm Monday to Friday) – Tel: 0300 123 3393
Sane Line – Saneline is a national mental health helpline providing information and support to people with mental health problems and those who support them (6pm-11pm) – Tel: 0845 767 8000
I probably haven’t said anything that you don’t already know and I probably have rambled on a bit too much but I just felt like I needed to do my part in creating awareness of this. This is an issue that I really feel strongly about. Everyone feels overwhelmed from time to time and in this day an age when the pressure can really be on in relation to getting a job, keeping a job, keeping up mortgage payments and the like and even in social media, the increase and ease of cyber bullying and the pressure put on people to look a certain way, do certain things to be ‘cool’, it’s so easy to cross that line and feel like it’s all too much to cope with. People should know that there is someone out there who really does care.