The World Health Organisation announced that one person dies every 40 seconds, they are launching their “40 seconds of action campaign” today
I’ve been a psychotherapist for over 14 years and have worked with hundreds of clients with a wide variety of symptoms but of all the people I’ve worked with, those who have lost someone close due to suicide stand out. They can grieve for their loved one, can learn to get on with their life but the guilt stays.
They beat themselves up for not taking that person’s problems seriously, for not noticing when the issues peaked and for not being there for them.
Suicide affects so many people…family, friends, colleagues. It rarely offers the answers necessary for those left behind to make sense or come to terms with their loss.
I remember reading an article last year about a young woman who was planning to commit suicide and what struck me right between the eyes was the point where she said that the reason she didn’t go ahead with her plans was when a complete stranger asked if she was okay.
It would be silly to say we can stop suicide but what is true is that really “seeing” someone who is suffering, whether we know them well or they’re a complete stranger can be a small part of the answer. A gentle word, really listening, taking time for that person.
Later may never come
In our busy lives its easy to say, I’ll call them later. Sometimes that will be too late.