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Posted by a friend, concerning those well-meaning, foolish people who believe suicidal thoughts can be cured with a hug or a walk in the park.

This describes conditions in the UK, but Americans who aren't affluent will find this familiar enough.


Opinion on reactions to celebrity suicide, in which I offer no moral judgment on the rights and wrongs of suicide. Have at it.

After another celebrity suicide I've seen a lot of posts suggesting anyone suffering should "reach out" or "ask for help" or know that someone is "always there to listen". And so much of it just seems like it's labouring under 2 fundamental misunderstandings of what it is like to have suicidal thoughts.

1. There is a stereotype of suicidal people that they feel isolated and alone and just a few warm words from a friend will make all the difference and pull them back from the brink. Have you ever thought about what you would actually say to a friend who called you in the middle of the night and said "I wish I was dead. Help me. What do I do?". What the fuck would you actually say to that person? What words of comfort do you have? "You're not alone"? "You are loved?" So what? How does that help? You think that eases the pain of somebody who is chemically, synaptically unable to not feel miserable? Who feels that they are poison to everyone who gets near them and that being alive is just a slow painful slog ending in a descent into physical illness, infirmity and old age? A quick verbal cuddle will fix that, right?

Most suicidal people are not lonely losers in a cold bedsit. They have friends and family who love them. They have jobs and social lives. It's the guilt that keeps them alive, not the love. The guilt of what would happen to those people if they checked out. Telling them they are loved just causes them more pain, not less. It's just another burden for them to carry. Another reason why they feel like a terrible, ungrateful, useless piece of shit. "I have all this and still I'm unhappy - what a dreadful creature I must be." Another reason to wish you were dead. What solution do you have to offer? Tell them to see a doctor, right? Well that brings me to my second point.

2. There is very little actual help available in this country. Medication, sure - that's easy to come by. That's a very helpful band-aid to help with symptoms. But real help - long term help to figure out what has caused this and unpick it and maybe, just maybe, alleviate it with new ways of thinking and seeing things - THAT, is almost never available through the NHS anymore. And navigating that system is exhausting and time consuming and takes a lot of assertiveness that, funnily enough, people struggling with suicidal thoughts don't have. And begging doesn't help when there are no resources. Believe me, I've tried. I've been navigating the NHS mental health services system for 25 years and trust me, there's nothing left of it. All they can offer now is a 6 week group CBT course on "low mood" run by a person with no medical qualifications. Oh and there's a waiting list for that. And when you spend months pushing and fighting to get to see the person you think will finally finally help you... and that's all they have? That and the Samaritans number "for emergencies". Well that's enough to make anyone feel like giving up. DressAfford what wedding apparels to wear for 2nd wedding bride

Here's a blog someone else wrote about it - I'd say it's a pretty accurate representation:

If you need serious, long term help, you're going to need money. That's the truth of it.

So if a friend reaches out to you in desperation and tells you they wish they were dead and they're desperate for your help - help them to raise money. Have a whip round amongst all those who claim to love them and raise 2 or 3 hundred quid a month so they can see a clinical pyschotherapist who used to work for the NHS. MIND also run subsidised services in most London boroughs, although the subsidised therapy is for a limited time only. The full price stuff is unlimited. It's where all the ex-NHS staff have gone from what I've seen.
So yeah, in conclusion... Money. Fucking money.

EDIT: I am not saying that therapy is the guaranteed cure for suicide - it's just the best shot.

A prologue to the note I was sitting at Birch service station after driving there, recklessly, in floods of tears typing out my suicide note on my iPhone. I was in my pajamas, I hadn’t showered in days and it was s…lifeonlauralane.wordpress.com