Yesterday I was woken by a flurry of activity at dawn in our normally quiet street. Police cars, ambulances, forensics teams and finally, the giveaway, the funeral directors van said it all. Another suicide.
Sadly, the person involved had not long lived in the neighborhood and resided in one of the few sets of units which are beginning to dot the area. Because of the isolation of the unit, she did not mix with others and so no-one knew here. Plus the now almost redundant practice of welcoming a newcomer into the neighborhood with a cake, a card or drinks is almost a thing of the past in big cities.
So no-one knew that this woman was suffering. Sure, she didn’t confide in anyone in the area either but that was not necessarily entirely her fault. Anyone who has been reading my articles on suicide and the stigma of mental illness, and indeed any keen observer would know that the stigma of mental illness is alive and well. This would largely have prevented her from telling anyone in the area. But given the problems that people with mental illness, including depression, have in trying to explain to others that the pain is real and that one cannot simply “snap out of it” it is small wonder that the events of yesterday morning unfolded.
Unable to cope with whatever issues were going on in her life, she made the ultimate decision. Yesterday morning her actions caused a hive of activities from the authorities and from the neighbors. It’s such a pity that all the activity was too late. She died alone in the early hours of the morning while the neighborhood quietly slept. The question remains though: how many other people feel just like her in this very neighborhood alone? And how many others are keeping their pain to themselves until it becomes so unbearable that the same police and paramedics must attend another similar grisly scene.
My life goal is to set up a drop in center in my local area, staffed by psychologists and other paramedical staff where people can go to just to talk, to have counseling and to do activities with others who know how it feels when it all goes wrong in life. It somehow doesn’t seem right that a person should die, and die alone, simply because there was nobody to reach out to.
Contact Beth McHugh for further assistance regarding this issue.
Related Articles: Other Articles on Suicide