Trigger warning: suicide
This might get a little bit heavy for some people so if you are of a sensitive disposition then I summarise the post like this: Be kind- lives literally depend on it. If you are really struggling there are lots of helplines and websites at the end of the post if you want to skip it all and head straight down there.
Otherwise, Thank you for visiting and come back another time when ill have a delicious recipe for you 😀
Please Be Kind- Lives depend on it.
15 years ago though not exactly my friend hung herself in her bedroom. She was 14. She’s now been dead longer then she was alive. We were a tight-knit class in the last year of junior school, especially the girls. Most of us went to the same school except her and one other girl. We fell out of touch. But we all lived locally and if we saw each other out, we would stop for a chat. Nobody back then talked about mental health issues.
“Depression” was still taboo. People said that her death “came out of nowhere.” It felt misunderstood and misplaced. We had no one and nothing to blame and for a while, the community grieved together. And then we all just stopped talking about it, about her. She was gone. Gone, gone, not only was she physically not there but her memory had gone too. And we all went about our lives.
All these years later and the news of Caroline Flack’s death hits. She is among many others. Yet still, we are as a society shocked when someone who seems to have it all takes their own life. Caroline is a high profile case so people who have no connection will talk about it, for a little bit at least. They will call for kindness, maybe funding into mental health services, they will beg people to reach out if they need help. And then, she will be gone. Gone, gone. Not only physically not there but her memory will be gone too. And we will all go about our lives.
Then one day, in the same way, we do with Robin Williams, Amy Winehouse, Heath Ledger, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Chester Bennington, Avicii and all the other talents we have lost, we will watch something or be reminded of her, them, in some small way. We will talk about what a “shame” it is that things have ended the way they have. “What a shame”…”shame” makes it sound so unimportant don’t you think? Then we will go about our lives.
It is of the utmost importance to talk about mental health issues. Beg for funding for services, to make outreach programs in schools accessible for EVERYONE, even if they aren’t suffering. It is imperative for our generation and the generations to follow us. These deaths of everyone, not just these big names but people like my friend, that their lives and deaths are not taken in vain. There is nothing, absolutely NOTHING more important than teaching children how to maintain healthy minds. How to notice and ask for help when they are not healthy. From as young as they can remember it NEEDS to be ok for them to struggle. They MUST seek help and it MUST be received. They ABSOLUTELY MUST be taught to be kind. ALWAYS.
My friend died before the onslaught of social media on our lives could have affected her. But we need to keep ourselves in check while we have the anonymity of the keyboard to hide behind. To preach and to practice kindness not just when someone tragically dies but all the time every day. Every post, every tweet, every reply. If you see something you don’t like/don’t agree with, just scroll on by we don’t need to engage. We could just go about our lives. Or we can change.
We NEED to change.
Be kind-Lives literally depend on it.
National suicide prevention line (Everyone) : 1-800-273-8255
Samaritans (Everyone): 116123
Shout (Text only)
Text Shout to 85258
Kooth (Online counselling service between 11 and 25)
CALM (for men) : 0800 58 58 58
Papryus (under 35): 0800 068 41 4 1
Childline (under 19): 0800 1111