Last week was mental health awareness week, online there has been lots of statistics flying backwards and forwards – people pushing mental health extra hard while others declare that this is what they do all the time. I really have to commend you all – any talk about mental health is good talk.

I think it’s important to remember that behind each shocking statistic and the cause behind each mental health campaign is an individual who is suffering,

Within the work we do and especially within the workshops we often hear people’s stories – everyone has a story – these stories are an important part of recovery and are a good way to make sense of the sometime unexplainable.

One special story we had recently touched us greatly – it happened in one of our regular workshops – a man sat in his coat and listened without saying much expect to help his friend try and explain how he felt about suicide – then at the end he asked to speak to the trainer.

He quietly took the trainer by the hand told us the story of his friend.

“About 5 years ago my friend, who has bouts of depression, felt so bad he decided to kill himself. He tends to switch himself off from everybody when he gets down and he hadn’t seen anyone for a while. He had stock piled medication and had it all lined up ready to take. He phoned some friends and said his various goodbyes. He then closed his eyes to say his prayers. When he opened his eyes, he looked through the window in front of him. At this moment a dragonfly flew up and stopped. It seemed to be looking at him. It stayed for a brief moment and then flew off. My friend was amazed by the dragonfly. It was enough to make him stop what he was doing and he has not tried to kill himself since.”

This simple story is life at its best.

Are you thinking about suicide? Here are 5 suggestions to consider;

  1. Decide not to do anything right now to hurt yourself. You do not have to act on your thoughts of suicide. Suicidal behaviour is a attempt to solve what feels like an overwhelming set of problems. When we are struggling to cope, our mind closes down on creativity and our problem-solving skills become much more limited. Your thoughts and feeling can change.
  2. Talk to someone; it could be a friend or a family member or a support service of some kind. There are people who want to listen and who can help you.
  3. If talking is difficult, there is online support. Someone who wants to help you is a click away.
  4. Please try to keep safe for now
  5. Spend some time thinking about what your reasons for living might be

When you’re struggling stop, be brave and ask for help – try to look for your dragonfly and remember you never know what is going to happen next.