Wednesday was National Suicide day and I posted my blog before noticing the date, focusing on an entirely unrelated matter. In any event it is not easy to write about something that has so many implications for each of us. Yesterday I was travelling to London by train when the driver announced over the tannoy that there had been a fatality in the Horley area. Prior to this I had the good fortune to have met someone who I have not spoken to for a long time on the train, but our conversation was inevitably impacted by the news of the unfortunate death and its impact on the family concerned, the train and station staff, other passengers and the emergency services. After my meeting I headed back to Sussex, only to hear again over the tannoy that there had been another fatality in Shoreham.
A few years ago I was privileged to attend the launch of a campaign by a really important charity in Brighton & Hove called grassroots. I wrote about my experience at the time and their website can be found here. The campaign was called ‘Tell Me’ and its intention was to encourage all of us to be more open to speak about our feelings and indeed be spoken to by people we meet or people we know. Suicide does not usually arise as a result of a single incident that presented no warning and leads to an immediate response. It is much more likely that people who commit suicide have been struggling with issues for some time. Talking to other people, even if it is just to say that you are in pain can halt or slow down what may otherwise be a vicious cycle in the life of another human being.
I have a badge with Tell Me on it, and Grassroots want to encourage all of us to sign up to say we will talk to others if we feel in pain and be listeners if others are in pain. A few moments to say how you are feeling won’t stop the world, or even bring the train network to a halt. However it might mean that each of us is able to be a bit more honest about our own concerns and anxieties. Why not check out the website for yourself!