It’s World Mental Health Day 2019 and this years focus is suicide prevention.
20 years ago a close friend of mine committed suicide and this was the driving factor for me sorting myself out. I felt particularly bad over his death as I knew how lonely he felt, how misunderstood and how isolated he felt but because of my own issues I couldn’t bring myself to ask him round or meet up for a coffee. I remember his cremation so clearly, the room was packed with people standing outside and most in tears, some inconsolable. This was the funeral for a guy who was abandoned by his sisters (who had all been fostered to other families), a guy who never knew his dad and his mum who tried to murder him on several occasions was in secure psychiatric care. He grew up in care homes and I won’t mention the horrors he suffered there. This was a guy who grew up alone, a guy who family wise was completely alone and yet there were so many who loved him, so many who cared and were totally devastated by his passing. We have people who are there for us though sometimes not at the right time or in the right way and even if they are maybe we can’t see it.
I was lucky as Rickys passing showed me this and at that point I vowed to sort myself out, I didn’t want my parents or family to feel about me how I was feeling looking at the coffin of my friend.
We live in times where aggressive and inflammatory language is now the norm, people shouting down anyone with a different opinion from theirs and using bullying tactics to put their point across. We live in a world where people use terms like ‘snowflake’ to intimidate people into silence and to not show their feelings or voice dissent.
We need to be nicer to people, just look around at the homeless people, the people on the street who are clearly suffering from mental health problems and have no services to help them due to the vicious and unnecessary government cuts in recent years.
But there is hope, there are good people out there who will help, community groups and charitable organisations who are having to fill in the gaps left by the decimated NHS.
If you or someone you know are suffering from mental health problems please contact your G.P. for advice and the community mental health team but please also get in touch with your local Mind and Rethink, there may be other local charities to you which may provide counselling or even a group where you can meet for a chat.
We have to stick together as a people, the more the uncaring the world becomes the more caring we have to be.
Rest in peace Ricky Lambert and thanks mate. X