This work in suicide prevention makes me so angry.

Yesterday we posted about the birth of the tomorrow project and the loss of life that led to our work being in existence. I wrote about the tragedy of suicide and the pain that I have seen amongst families and communities that have been deeply and devastatingly affected by suicide.

Did you know that those affected by suicide are 80% more likely to go on to attempt to take their own life too? Neither did I, when I started this work. And yet now, day in day out our service takes referral after referral from those who are thinking about taking their life, and those bereaved by suicide.

Me and my team listen to the stories of struggle. We hear stories of pain. We hear stories too often of people who have tried and tried to get help but there is none until they walk through our door.

And here we are, with the government referring to us as a model of best practice, with our local services referring people to us to the point that our service is drowning in referrals, with people screaming out for help. Yet we are still without funding.

It makes me so angry – this post is not about funding, it is about the lack of resources that are being allocated to distress. It is about the fact that by virtue of the fact that we struggle to stay afloat, we know, without fail, that there is a crisis of funding that threatens to take us away from the people that need us the most.

As the CEO of a service, I want to spend my time doing a good job for the people that need me; I don’t want to be fighting the nonsense that prevails in this world. People are dying and I can’t get enough people to care to keep our service afloat.

I don’t want to ask for donations and funding support, but I have to. I just have to, because without it, without us raising another 30k by the spring, some services will be threatened.

This work makes me so cross, because the economic cost of one death by suicide is 1.7 million, and my service runs on peanuts in comparison. Do the math. Save a life, save money… if that’s the only thing people will listen to then that is the line that I will take and if the meantime you’ve got a quid in your pocket and you can do without an extra costs, chuck it our way? Or short of that, if you feel like doing something ridiculous like shaving your head, or throwing yourself out of a plane for us, or you know a rich millionaire… give them a nudge because we need a bit of help.

Rant over. A disgruntled CEO.


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