A message from our research lead and senior suicide crisis support officer, Bevan

We know that healthcare and medical staff may be at higher risk of suicide in regular times, for a whole variety of reasons.
One of the consistent messages has been “Protect the NHS”. This really is super important, and I want to assert that this protection should extend to key workers’ mental health in this extremely difficult time. I’ve worked with people at risk of suicide since I was 19, and I’ve become really familiar with the sense of adrenaline and immediacy in crisis situations . There’s little time to sit and think and ruminate when you’re with someone, helping them make decisions in support of life and trying to help them immediately stay safe; but when I myself most need support is when I go home in the evening and I begin to think, and hope beyond hope I did enough today to support people in getting through the weekend or evening. I know that it’s a bit like comparing apples and oranges when it comes to the current situation, but what I’m trying to say is that I think we need to be really considerate of how our frontline, medical and healthcare colleagues may feel as this crisis continues and even afterwards, when we all have time to think again.
I’ve spent countless hours in the past few weeks in the evenings and at weekends browsing all kinds of forums, websites, messages boards, anything that people regularly post on. I’ve read stories of some key workers having to stay away from their families to shield them, all the while going in every day to combat COVID-19. My fear is, much like going home in the evenings, once we all have time to think again, the impact of what’s happened and is still happening may finally sink in. This is where I want to remind everyone that we’re open.
We know that healthcare and medical staff may be at higher risk of suicide in regular times, for a whole variety of reasons. In this time more than ever, I really want everyone to know that Harmless and The Tomorrow Project are here, offering 1-1, face to face, and confidential suicide crisis support sessions. You can contact us on 0115 880 0282, or email us on crisis@tomorrowproject.org.uk.

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