Throughout my career suicide has been at the forefront of my professional life, and over the years I’ve heard so many stories from families and individuals bereaved by suicide. Each story is unique, but equally heart-breaking and a devastating tragedy on all levels.
In this line of work you cannot help but ask some of the bigger questions and reflect on life, and what it is all about. Unfortunately, there are far more questions than answers, something that is particularly difficult to come to terms with, the ‘why’ and ‘what if’ questions. It is acceptance that some questions may never be answered that is a step towards hope and recovery.
Whilst there may be signs to indicate suicidal thoughts, despair can also be invisible. Someone may become reclusive, others may appear outwardly confident, indeed the life and soul of the party.
During the pandemic we have seen more campaigns on mental health awareness and encouraging people to speak out, to not be afraid to seek help -which is great. But we should also nurture a culture that works both ways. Take the time to notice others, to offer support even when it may not be obvious it is needed.
You cannot second guess how you think someone else is feeling, but by asking and listening you can find out. You might be the only person that has actually shown an interest in how they are.
The Tomorrow Project continues to offer crucial support for those who have been bereaved, affected or exposed to suicide.
If you have been bereaved or affected by suicide, no matter your age or who you lost, send a message and we will get back to you within 72 hours. :
Stay safe everyone x
Suicide Bereavement Support Officer