BEING THERE: Sitting and listening is often the best support. To mark World Suicide Prevention Day, Lifeline will hold a community beach walk on September 8.He began crying without notice. It took me by surprise.
We were in our late teens and had finished cricket practice.
Following our usual routine, we stuck around for an extra half an hour, just the two of us, as best mates do.
As soon as we finished he broke down. I had no clue what to do, I’d never experienced it before.
I wanted his pain to go away. At the same time, it felt comforting just to be there with him. We were only there for a short time, not a lot was said and he soon ‘came good’.
There was nothing that I did to mysteriously change things, but somehow two mates sitting side by side, as one expressed his despair and anxiety, as the other allowed these things to sit between them, things got better.
We often want to immediately fix or eliminate “problems” because they can make us feel uncomfortable. Not all problems can be fixed, or at least not easily.
That’s one thing that I have learnt during my time withLifeline. Counter intuitively for some, often the best way to support others is to simply be with them as they experience pain; as difficult as this can be.
Lifeline provides a place and space, for people to be heard without judgement and with compassion.It was foundedby a man whose friend died by suicide. He was determined not to let isolation and lack of support be the cause of more deaths. One of the key things that the team at Lifeline does is listen and sit with people, just as I did with my mate.
Allowing people to sit and ‘wrestle in the mud’ of their pain can be helpful. As tempting as we may find it to pull them out of the mud, wrestling in it can be part of the healing process.
The approach is often not consistent with much of how our society operates; where elimination of pain and suffering often trumps tolerance and understanding. As a society, we need to remember to view people socially and as part of a community rather than just for their utility.
Community is important for our mental health. Addressing the challenge of suicide in is a social concern, not simply a medical one.
The key to supporting those who are in crisis is embracing them as part of our community. We ought not ostracise and isolate people, but sit alongside them as they ‘wrestle’ with their challenges.
That’s why, we’re organising a community walk to mark World Suicide Prevention Day. On Friday, September 8, we’re inviting everyone to walk with us at 6am from Dixon Park to the Merewether Baths and back. Breakfast, community stalls and a free yoga session will be available from 6.30 to 8.30am.
We have had wonderful support from community members, including formerThe Blockcontestants Maxine Stokes Smith and Karstan Smith as well as Newcastle Jets’ players, who’ll be walking with us.
The walk is free, but we’re asking people to register atlifelinehunter苏州桑拿.au
Walking with us is something positive you can do to show those in our community who are struggling or in crisis, or who have lost someone to suicide, that you care.
Show them that you may not be able to take away their pain but you are walking with them while they wrestle with it.
Your action and support may just change a life.
Rob Sams is regional manager, Lifeline Hunter Central Coast. If this article raises concerns for you, call Lifeline on13 11 14.