Lived Experience Insights | Suicide Attempt
Honest and real responses to a range of personal questions about suicide from people that have lived the experience, with the aim of helping those that may be living a shared experience.
- It changes, initially it was something I was really ashamed and embarrassed about. But as I have adopted my lived experience and understood it from a perspective that I can do something with it that can help keep others alive, I have peace around it, and it actually inspires most things I do in life.
- Originally, I had very mixed emotions from shame to disbelief and denial about my attempt. Now I use my survival as part of my Lived Experience story.
- I felt ashamed and kept it a secret for decades. I was glad nobody knew and kept on living my depressed life. I now can see why that happened to me as a teenager and share the story if it is useful to help others.
- Straight after – crushing disappointment, feeling trapped, frustrated, maybe a determination to try again, maybe despair. Worry others will know about it. Long after – I’m in a life I’d never have believed. I’d not swap it for anything. Yes, by all means, let others know.
- It’s an invisible scar that doesn’t really heal over time. Every time someone mentions death you’re reminded of that day or night when things became too much. Like a ghost that just silently haunts you – and you know it’s following you, and you’re consumed by the thought that someone might find out and judge you.
- It was devastating realising and accepting the aftermath of such a catastrophic event – so much internalised stigma, shock, and an aftermath of PTSD. I felt disoriented, broken, and so so so glad to be alive. I felt I had zero clue what anything might look like in getting through each moment, but this profound knowing that there was not step that was not possible with support and advocated passionately for myself.
- I have been through various stages, initially anger at not being successful, embarrassment that I failed again, hopelessness at being so alone. Now I feel thankful I am still here and able to help.
- Be there with loving kindness, and patience, no judgement. It is what it is. No need to ask questions or probe. Have genuine care, visit in hospital, arrange to have coffees, visit at home, make sure they have eaten – have a meal together. Check in by text, or just an emoji is really great too. Just be together watching a movie, no need to talk.
- Hold space for them. Listen. Don’t question why or “how bad” the circumstances were. Just let them talk and be there.
- Being delicate, frank, practical, one step at a time, give them each moment a building block to get through, each day is a win, no big picture planning, just what is needed now, rest, walk, services, exercise, sunlight, gentle swimming, anything at all.
- Be there…Listen, love and give unconditional positive regard to them…..sit with them in silence or in calm space or in love and genuine gratitude that they are here tell them they are important.
- Primarily by just listening and making them aware they are not alone and that the feelings will pass.
- I make sure I feel safe and trust who I am talking to won’t judge me or belittle me.
- I am grateful for the fact that I have family and close friends who I can chat to when I feel I want to talk about my story. There are also so many not-for-profit organisations that are willing to be there and listen to you.
- I have been very open about my struggles with mental health, suicide attempts and what I am doing to help myself and others in my position. i see my therapist monthly now, have attended day groups at hospital and am part of lifeline’s Eclipse program
- Peer CARE Companion Warmline! Depends on location, but some attempt survivor groups are available such as Eclipse (Lifeline Mid Coast 6581 2800)
- I try not to judge myself. I try to self-regulate. I try to connect when I can.
- Group therapy helped me tremendously. Being amongst others who have had similar experiences to me was a healing experience – because it takes the sting of stigma away from the conversation.
- Lifeline’s Eclipse group mainly but i have found people with issues gravitate towards me.
- I listen with genuine care. I ask them what they need. I see if I can be helpful or just be together with them, no need to talk, no judgement.
- I keep them talking and I listen wholeheartedly. From my experience, there’s so much going on in your mind that just verbalising what you’re thinking and feeling can provide relief and de-escalate a crisis quite effectively.
- Get clear the level of thoughts they are having, do they have a plan, do they have means, what are the thoughts like, are there flashes, or other thoughts – be open, be factual, get phone numbers and call together – make a safety plan on an app or paper – include reasons to live, ways to distract, supports, and more. Ask if there are things that neede removing from the space to keep them safe. Remind them there is no step that cannot get through, no matter how excruciating the pain is, they can come through, they are bigger than all of it. Talk about wait times on hold with lifeline, talk to suicide call back service together – refer to the Mental Health access line. Get any and all available suitable support, stop at nothing.
- Be with them. It is hard and challenging but anyone can do it. be there to listen. Walk with them toward the helping options because often the Mental Health services are over worked and tired and disinterested.. go with them and be an advocate. two voices are harder to avoid than one who is fragile.
- Let them know they are not alone, they are safe and the feelings will pass.
- Lived experience advisory roles etc.
- Empathy and reassurance. I know that the ones who struggle are unlikely to be talking about it. So it’s just being there and lending an ear to them. Be that tiny little speck of light in the dark dark tunnel of their mind.