Countless years have passed, with clients wandering through in various stages of carrying the “black dog” seemingly alongside them. Just as many countless pieces of advice have been handed out to these clients before they see me. A recent client was told by their qualified mental health professional that they as a person, not the trauma they had experienced throughout their life, was the cause of their suicidal thoughts, and the desire to take their own life. Seriously?
There’s an innate part of me that wants to stand on the cliff edge, that I’m sure exists, whereby I can shout to the entire world in one shout “Just Stop!” Stop with the so-called professional quackery, stop with the formulas ’cause they ain’t working, and stop believing you’ve got the “one size fits all” solutions to individual problems. And before I get down off this effective cliff edge I want to say another “Just Stop” to all those who believe that suicidal thoughts and impulses are “merely” the domain of the spiritual realm. Seriously?
To all of these people, when you looked in the mirror this morning did you see the same body, soul and spirit that your neighbour has, the person on the street has, heck even I have, standing on my cliff edge that I am… NO! You didn’t!! So “Just Stop.”
The title of this attempt to pull the world up short and take a different view, and ask some different questions to find different solutions, really states it all. If you know someone who is suicidal and you don’t know how to help them effectively, you don’t know how to shine a light or bring hope into their lives, then back off and stop with the opinions! If it’s not effective then you’ve just got an opinion.
Unequivocally, the individual concerned has to want to be here. I’ve had the sadness to be part of a number of people’s lives who could no longer see a light or find the hope to stay. If we want to change the discourse and have more people choose to stay we need to be asking more questions and coming up with different answers. We need to be meeting each individual where they are, just today. We need to be helping them to find resources that help them today, and we need to be asking them do they want to become equipped to stay.
For some, the answer will be no, I don’t want to stay, for some the answer will be maybe, can you be a light for me, and for some, they’ll take hold of the information and push through the challenges and learn and absorb everything they can to stay.
You, you be a light! When someone is at the edge of their cliff, sit quietly, hold space for them, don’t try and fix or do, just be.
You, you be a hope! When someone is at the edge of their cliff, sit quietly, hold space for them, don’t try and fix or do, just be.
And if you can’t do this, and you want to make them fit into a box, back off. Seek help and wisdom from those who can just be and know that in doing this, you have actually been a light and been the hope that this person needed to see.
Please follow the link to understand more about how you can help and understand suicide. Understanding Suicide
Image Source – Suicide Cover Image