Let’s talk suicide….

Suicidal thoughts are actually very natural and most people will experience them at some point in their lives. The main thing to remember when you start to experience suicidal thoughts is not to be afraid and shut down, take it as a big warning sign that something is innately wrong in your life and changes need to happen because you’re becoming overwhelmed.

Whether it’s your work, relationships, finances, family life, health or a combination of life stressors past or present, It’s time to work out what’s causing this and start to address them.

If you’re lucky enough to have someone to speak to, please reach out. If you don’t get a helpful response, that’s okay (not everyone understands mental health or knows what to say) reach out to someone else or try a professional. You can go to your GP and asked to be referred to a mental health specialist or talk to them about other options that are available. Again not every GP is great with mental health so if you don’t get a helpful response try another one and ask the receptionist for a GP who is experienced with mental health (every GP tends to have different areas they are more experienced in). If all else fails you might have to pay privately, which isn’t always ideal, but can you put a price on your health?

There’s many different options, counselling, psychotherapists, CBT therapists, life coaches, plus many more. In my experience it’s not the qualifications that are most important, it’s finding a practitioner you connect with and trust. If you don’t feel a good connection with the first person, try someone else. I know this is a mind boggling path but there is lots of help out there. It can take time to find the right source for you but it’s important to get it right.

There are so many alternative paths too that help in addition such as; relaxation methods like breathing and mindfulness (the headspace app can be a great place to start, with 15 minutes per day guided meditations), taking time out in nature, eating an unprocessed diet, do more exercise, priorities sleep, reconnect with your purpose (this is something you do just for you, that keeps your spark alive like a sport or hobby. This cannot be your family or work). Last but not least, surround yourself with good people ‘you become what you surround yourself with’. In my experience there’s not going to be just one avenue that will make life changing differences, you have to take a 360 degree approach to health and work on all of the above.

The priority here is to act and reach out. You wouldn’t expect to get better from a physical health problem without the guidance from a specialist. Looking after your mental health is no different. Our brain is just another organ filled with chemicals that change on a daily basis and can easily become out of balance, causing havoc for our mental and physical health. Often people wait to crisis point and want help immediately which is unrealistic, this is why it’s important to act before you get to crisis point.

Taking time out to work on yourself is NOT selfish, even if you have children or others who are dependent on you. You can only truly give to others if you’re full yourself. If something more drastic does happen (serious mental health difficulties, stroke, heart problems) etc etc it’s then impossible to give to someone else. Trust me, if you neglect your mental health for long enough it will manifest and catch you out in some other major way.

If you get to the stage where your suicidal thoughts are so profound you’re researching ways to take your life or feel you will act on them. SEEK HELP IMMEDIATELY. You can ask for an urgent GP appointment or present at A&E 24/7. Speak to someone you trust and be brutally honest. If you are worried about being honest with someone you know, speak to a professional (we’re not that scary I promise), if you’re finding it too hard to talk to someone there’s an amazing app called ‘stay alive’ that’s saving lives all over the world and is now recommend by mental health teams throughout the UK. All relevant helplines are listed on the NHS website. Keep away from drugs and alcohol and stay somewhere you feel safe.

More than anything it’s important to remember that people who take their own lives do so because they have lost all hope for the future, but while ever there is life there is hope. People always get better eventually albeit a difficult path, but if you end your life there is nothing anyone can do to help you, that’s it! So please reach out. #bekind