World Suicide Prevention Day 2020
By Carnal Queen
Thursday 10th September 2020 is World Suicide Prevention Day. A day dedicated to preventing suicide across the globe … if only suicide prevention was that simple.
As someone with poor mental health, who battles her own suicidal demons on a regular basis, it’s a subject close to my heart. The World Health Organisation believes that a person commits suicide somewhere around the world every 40 seconds – over 800,000 people every year.
800,000 beautiful individuals each with their lives in front of them, find themselves in crisis and truly believe that suicide is their only option. It’s not a cowardly thing to do, it’s not the easy way out, it’s something, which in that moment, they felt in their minds was the ONLY option left available to them.
I’ve heard people over the years say it’s a selfish thing to do – that a person who kills themselves does not care about the people they leave behind. That’s simply not true. It may be hard to understand or comprehend, but often they do it because they genuinely believe that those they leave will be better off without them. They feel a burden, like they cause pain and heartache, and in their broken brain, them being gone is the answer.
At the end of the day, you don’t need to understand it fully, you just need to see that suicide is everywhere, and it’s something that we all need to be aware of. There is a likelihood that you know somebody who has or does feel suicidal. People who you would assume are “okay” and without mental health issues. They don’t wear t-shirts to highlight their struggles; no banners will display their pain. They’ll suffer in silence, and one day, heartbreakingly, their suffering may get too much, and they’ll do something that can’t ever be undone. Death is permanent.
I’m sat writing this on a day where footage of a man committing suicide is circulating on social media. On August 31st, Ronnie McNutt pulled the trigger and shot himself in the head whilst live streaming on Facebook. He was 33, a former army veteran and lived in Mississippi. His Mother was watching his live feed when he shot himself, and will forever have to live with the pain of losing her son. The images of him shooting himself in the head will undoubtedly never leave her. How is someone supposed to deal with that?
I haven’t watched the video. Why would anybody want to? Just knowing it’s out there serves as a stark warning to me that this is going to become an even bigger problem than it already is, unless we all work together and do our best to make a change. It’s true, we will sadly never eradicate suicide, but we can do more to try and prevent as many families and friends having to deal with such horrific losses like the McNutt family currently are. My heart breaks for them.
Reach out to those around you. If you’re suffering, speak out. I know that’s not always easy, but it’s a vital step to ensure your situation doesn’t spiral out of control. Staying locked in your own head is a dangerous place to be, and just by telling someone how you’re feeling, you’re reducing the risk of suicide. If you can’t talk to someone close to you, seek help from charities and organisations who can offer practical help, or just a friendly ear if that’s what you need. BE KIND. That’s the easiest thing that we can all do. You have no idea what people are dealing with behind closed doors, or in their own minds, and just by not being a dickhead, you’re helping to not make a bad situation even worse. The #BeKind movement after Caroline Flack’s awful death was a positive step, but sadly people forget it all too easily, and it’s easy to find examples of vile comments, trolling and bullying online. It needs to stop.
The theme for World Suicide Prevention Day this year is ‘Working Together To Prevent Suicide’. It’s on ALL of us to be more aware, be nicer people, and to do all we can to help people who find themselves in crisis, in any way we can. Mental health issues and suicidal thoughts do not discriminate – if you are lucky enough to have not been personally effected by any of these issues I congratulate you, but that’s not to say it won’t happen in the future. I hope it doesn’t, but hope alone isn’t enough.Suicide is preventable, it’s not inevitable. Every single life lost is a tragedy. To every man, woman and child who left this world believing they weren’t good enough, or that they weren’t needed … may you all rest in eternal peace; the world misses you dearly.
Helpline: 116 123 (free of charge from a landline or mobile)
Campaign Against Living Miserably Help and support for young men aged 15-35 on issues which include depression and suicide.
Prevention of youth suicide: will help parents and carers of young people who are suicidal to make contact with appropriate sources of support. Papyrus also runs Hopeline UK 0800 068 4141 – for practical advice on suicide prevention
24/7 Crisis Hotline: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Network
1-800-273-TALK (8255) (Veterans, press 1)
Crisis Text Line; Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a crisis counsellor.