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Helping a Suicidal Person - Looking After Yourself?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Today as part of my role I had to support someone who wanted to commit suicide. This resulted in a trip to A&E, a trip to their GP, a psychiatrist appointment, an appointment with our Occupational Health department and liaising with their emergency contact as logged on our records.

I am currently feeling like I am buzzing from the panic/adrenaline of having to take control of what I can only describe as a very distressing situation.

However, I know either late this evening or tomorrow I am going to crash. When talking to the individual on occasions it was my Dad looking back at me and not the actual person. I held myself together by reminding myself I was never given the opportunity to help my Dad but I could help this individual sat in front of me.

As part of this, I have never been so disgusted to see how poorly he was treated by every medical professional he came into contact with. He was dismissed as a time waster in A&E despite both myself and my supporting colleague explaining the severity of the situation. The GP then got irate with the individual and was telling him how irrational and irresponsible he was being. Although we fought his corner and got him the help he so desperately needed - I can't help feeling he will be fobbed off and left to do what he wants when he has no-one helping him as I can't be there 24/7.

I have debriefed with the relevant people and those same people are aware of my personal circumstances and how this may impact on me on a personal level. But I am not at work tomorrow and I am conscious of not knowing how to handle my own reaction when I eventually go back to feeling remotely normal; hence my need to offload on here.

I have never seen someone in such distress and to watch medical professionals be so dismissive...was just awful to see...


  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    First things first. Well done you. Really, really well done you. That's a massive achievement and you should be proud of what you did. That's above and beyond what your job actually requires you to do.

    You say you've done your debriefing - that doesn't mean that that's the end of the support your work should be giving you. Just because you're not in work tomorrow doesn't mean that you are not entitled to some support should you need it.

    What were you planning on doing today before this happened? As a starting point, I'd stick with those plans. What happened yesterday was that you did you job, and you were a wonderful member of society. Give yourself a pat on the back, a treat, and try and move on from it - taking any learnings from the debriefing that you may have got. Adrenaline is tiring, so make sure you get some chill time and some rest. You might find you need a bit of physical exertion to get things back in balance and get the sleep you probably need.

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks SM...

    My plans were to do my dissertation; however, I realised I had to complete the relevant paperwork from yesterday so I ended up working instead but only a half day.

    I crashed at work and did the whole sobbing thing. I spoke with the colleague to find out he had no support offered. I researched local support and supplied him with all the details. He then told me on the phone he was going to end his life today as he was tired and couldnt carry on anymore. I directed him to A&E and other helplines like Samaritans.

    In terms of support we had very little. I updated the OHA and she told me to contact them again if I was still struggling in a week. But everyone at store thinks it has just triggered memories. But I'm upset because no-one is helping him.

    I am going to combat tonight with the intention of it helping me sleep but im starting to get tired now so i may just sleep instead...
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