The title of this blog is the slogan used by it at The Movember Foundation to publicise World Suicide Prevention Day, which is this Saturday, 10th September. (Read about it here.) I suggest you read Gavin’s story, whose depression was triggered by being made redundant at the age of 40 from the company that he had worked at for 20 years.
That’s right. His ‘After the Mothership’ story nearly ended with him killing himself. That’s how serious this stuff can be, that’s how hard it can be to cope.
I’ve never felt suicidal but I have certainly had bouts of depression and suffered from anxiety. These are normal reactions to the major life change that you are going through. And the solution is to talk about it. With your family, with your friends, with professionals who are trained to give you help and support.
The Movember campaign has a second slogan – Men, we need to talk. It’s not a sign of weakness to share your suffering and ask for help but because we have been conditioned not show weakness and be ‘strong’ at all times, we are reluctant to reach out. In fact, reaching out is the act of strength, it shows real courage.
Of course, women also need to ask for help and to talk about their feelings. Generally, they do this better than men but even then they may be reluctant to open up, particularly if they work in male-dominated environments.
I hope you never get to the stage the men in the case studies get to, I hope you never write a suicide note. The way to make sure you never get there is to talk about it. Call the Samaritans. Speak to a friend. Speak to your GP. Speak to someone.
This is too important to ignore. If I can help you in any way, please get in touch. It’s why I started After the Mothership, to help people through this transition and, in that way, stop anyone from getting to the point where they want to take their life. I believe if we talk more about what we are going through and if I can bring people together to help each other, we can not only help people have a better future, we can save some people’s lives.
Be strong. Reach out.