I was supposed to be going to bed early tonight so I could be refreshed for my meeting with Survive tomorrow (well today). The best laid plans of mice and men and all that, well as I’ve been expecting for a few days my mood has crashed. As is the norm I’m extremely agitated, my head is trying to convince me a path to self destruction but I’m trying hard to hold onto the promise I made my friends that I’d try and hold on and give the 3rd sector a chance to support me through my madness.
All day today my twitter feed has been eeking out 140 characters of news that Stephen Fry made an attempt to take his life last year. Now I do not wish to make light of anyone’s pain that they find themselves taking actions that most people are unable to comprehend. The main problem I have with this ‘story’ is not his illness or his actions, but the sycophancy that has followed. The twittersphere has exploded from fans and other celebrities announcing and expressing concern that Mr Fry made an attempt to take his life.
I can’t help but wonder if these are the same people who tut and moan, when their train is delayed because someone found and end to their problems by stepping in front of a train? Are these the same people who’d call someone a ‘nutter’ because they talk to themselves? Are these the same people who walk past someone who’s sat on the bench rocking? Are these the same people who look awkward when someone is crying in public because they are in emotional distress?
I would wager these people have probably never really given mental health issues or suicide any real thought. I’d go as far to say they have no idea the struggles that many people face trying to get the help they need and deserve. I further reckon it’s probably easier for people of means like Mr Fry to access help because they have the finances behind them. As I say I don’t wish to dismiss or demean the distress Mr Fry faces but I’m sure because of his status it becomes considerably easier than it is for most to access services because they are being cut back by health trusts. This leaves mental health service users turning to either private or 3rd sector mental health service suppliers. I reckon this inturn puts a strain on 3rd sector services because of demand as most are unable to afford private suppliers fees.
So to all sycophantic well wishers I sincerely hope you extend the same compassion to those you encounter either directly or indirectly in your daily lives with mental health issues or those who have taken their lives.
To everyone who has been driven to the point that suicide ells the only option to your problems, my heart holds a little place for you and I wish you peace and comfort through such despair.
If you have been affected by the issues raised in this post you can contact The samaritans