I’ve been on many a multi storey car park and on many a high bridge, talking to the lost souls who have ran out of ideas and need to end it all. I have made a bond with most, and have held their hand as they step gingerly back over the rail, and I have seen one fall after making that bond. I have heard the sound as the body impact below. I have felt the guilt that I failed. I have been in that home with a crying mother and a wrecked home, by a tenager she can no longer control, and I see the demons which possess the mind of that so innocent child, and I run out of ideas as to what to say to her.
Keep it positive, keep some hope, and eventually they may see a hook to grab hold of, one they have forgotten about through all their stress and confusion but now may buy them a little time; to try to help them through the next horrible episode. But sometimes, when they scream at me, with their slashed wrists and their swollen eyes, that they have given up with the mental health system, that it has let them down and they feel alone, then sometimes I feel there is no answer. When you speak to a 40 year old who was raped as a tenager by a family member, when you hear of their broken marriage, their lost children and their times in prison, when you hear of the lonely and often destitute lives they now lead, then sometimes I confess I feel that maybe their wish for suicide is the only release. The site I see in their eyes when they think, ‘I could end it here, all my pain, I could end it now’.
I feel ashamed, I feel guilty that I have given up on them for that second, but I plug at the positives, their children who depend upon them, the fact the mental health system is high on the agenda now, the fact that mental health is slowly coming out of the darkness, that they may feel bad now but I promise they will feel better in the future and be glad they didn’t jump, and I see that the taboo is being broken, and that now when the black dog appears, there is hope it can be subdued, but as soon as I get hopeful, I look at the masses of those effected. I look at the help that is required and I look at the very human beings with their lives being destroyed, and I think, what a task ahead, and can it be done? I think… there for the grace of God.