Make a positive decision in under a minute

This post has been written by one of out volunteers, Loz Nellist! 

On Thursday the 10th October 2019 it’s World Mental Health Day. This year the focus is on suicide prevention.  The World Health Organisation states:

Every 40 seconds, someone loses their life to suicide.

Pretty sobering to think of such a harsh statistic, that’s why World Mental Health Day is so important.   In the modern world we get bombarded with dedicated days to raise awareness for causes/health conditions/social issues.  Why is World Mental Health day any different?

Suicide is preventable 

If we talk about it openly and not stigmatise someone as being ‘selfish’ or ‘attention seeking’ we might be able to help others make a positive decision in under a minute.

Think of what you can do in under a minute?

My personal story is from a few years back, I worked in a stressful and depressing job, and my only release was the 30 minute cycle home, across a bridge with a beautiful river that flowed through the city.  The commute was pretty straight forward, nothing really changed until this one day.

I was reaching the bridge crossing and I noticed a car parked on the footpath, my eyes where then drawn to a man on the wrong side of the barriers, with a girl gently holding his hand.  As I got closer I recognised the girl, she was a friend.  I watched her talk to this man, he wanted to jump, and she stopped him from jumping.

I wanted to help but froze; she was doing an amazing job. I spoke to her and she was calm and happy that he was going to get the help he needed.

I was angry with myself that I didn’t help but on reflection I learnt that she didn’t say much she just listened.

Active Listening

Over the next few days I became more aware that I don’t actively listen to people, just being there for them can help them make the right decisions.

Prevention

There is no rule book in suicide prevention however making a positive decision in under a minute was what my friend did,  she choose to stop rather than drive on.

Choose to live

Life is full of choices; to help my own mental health I see any gains significant.  If I’m feeling not myself I speak to a friend. If I feel anxious I take a nature walk.  If I feel really lost I write down what I did today and cross off my successes.

Make that positive decision in under a minute. …