FOLLOWING World Suicide Prevention Day last Tuesday, I felt inspired to write today’s Fair Point on mental health and the society we live in.

There is still a taboo around the word ‘suicide’. Admittedly, more people are open about their darker feelings nowadays, thanks to social media offering a platform to express yourself, but this is not entirely a good thing.

That's because, although social media is a fantastic way of connecting, some networking sites can be a toxic tool in terms of ‘glamorising’ depression and almost promoting users to self-harm.

Everyone has experienced mental health difficulties in one way or another.

Someone very close to me suffers from poor mental health. From an outsider’s view, she comes across as one of the most bubbly, charismatic, witty and intellectual people you could meet. However, despite being surrounded by family and friends, she says she’s always lonely and feels worthless. From knowing this person very well, it’s difficult to understand how someone so wonderful can feel this negative about themselves.

After being placed on an NHS waiting list for months to receive psychological treatment, this ended up causing her more damage as a result. She was put on anti-depressants which made her feel worse, and due to the long wait to be seen by a professional, she began paying £75 privately because she was desperate to seek support.

On the surface, this woman is always smiling and seems to ooze positive energy and makes people laugh. Little do they know that, as she's smiling, inside she's feeling suicidal.

So I suppose my message is to be kind to everyone, because you never know who is suffering.

Every year, on September 10, people gathers around the world to raise awareness of suicide prevention.

There are plenty of organisations that support people experiencing issues. Here are just some of them.

• Samaritans for free on 116 123

• NHS 111 for health advice in the UK

• Papyrus HOPELineUK (Confidential support for under-35s at risk of suicide) - 0800 068 41 41

If you need help, please, just reach out. People do care.


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