Today |I want to touch on a subject that is particularly close to my heart, because I have had personal experience of the aftermath and that is suicide.
Yesterday I watched a very moving account of a survivor’s story. She uoff a bridge and amazingly lived to tell the tale. Her wonderful TedX Talk is on a recent DSM blog, entitled ‘Winter Sun’, which is well worth a visit. I won’t share it unless you would like me to, as I would encourage you to read Dr Sinu’s excellent post on the subject of hope, which has got me thinking hard.
The story of how someone survived depression that drove them to attempting suicide resonated. We sometimes make crazy decisions when we are injured and when we are suffering and struggling-I know I have. But one feature of this woman’s story which impacted upon me the most was a bookmark made for her by a child with the word hope written on it. That was a lifeline for her, along with the compassion and kindness of those around her.
I am reminded of the story of The Good Samaritan in the Bible, who did not walk by but tended the poor bruised man on the side of the road (Luke 10:25-37). He showed mercy and I also view this as a demonstration of hope. He held out hope by caring and acting with compassion. Those who are battling depression and other type of mental illness nee to be tended with compassion and understanding and shown mercy.
I saw a photo on Facebook last night of a man just before he took his own life. He was waiting for a Universal Credit payment and in horrendous debt. He felt he could not care for his children and that they would be better off without him. This tragic image kept me awake. There are on average 84 suicides by men every week and it is the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. It is an epidemic.
I am writing about suicide and hope together because I believe hope is an antidote to despair. If you are reading this and contemplating suicide, please please tell someone. Please ask for help. I can assure you someone will miss you probably many people and their lives will be severely damaged if you decide to take your life. So please ask for help. And those of us who are not in that place, please ask if people are okay. Please check in with friends and family members who may be struggling. Let’s hold out branches of hope to one another and if we need to, let’s take someone to the Good Samaritan Inn, to be looked after.
Today my hope recipes are to look out for others, to hold a branch of hope out and to not pass by and not notice someone else’s pain.
Thank you for reading. Have a peaceful Sunday X