I spend a lot of time on zoom calls at the moment, talking about mental health and wellbeing. I hope that something connects and resonates in every session but sometimes something happens which reminds me just why we do what we do.
Following a resilience session I delivered recently, one of the delegates stayed on the call. I could tell that something very serious was on his mind. He wanted to talk. I listened. I had a gut feeling that this man had something more to say. I followed my Mental Health First Aid training and I asked the direct question “are you thinking of taking your own life?” He confirmed that this was the case. “I wanted to leave the house and never come back.” I did my best to assess the situation, listen and arrange for supports to be put in place, all within the virtual environment we now find ourselves working in. All the time thinking how brave he was to share this with me, to want to seek support; hoping that he would be ok and that I had done enough.
I feel so grateful to be trained in MHFA, to have a framework for how to deal with crisis conversations. To have a simple action plan to follow. Close to 800,000 people die due to suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds (WHO, 2020).
I reflect that each and every conversation we have around mental health is important and may have a direct impact on a person’s life.
The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy