“Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45 in Kent.”
That is just such a sad statistic. Regular readers will know that someone I knew recently took his own life so I was pleased to see that Kent Country Council is responding to this issue with the announcement of the “Release the Pressure” campaign.
Life can be hard. I know in the depths of my drinking suicide was a thought that was in my head more than I’d have liked it to have been. Since getting sober it has been a rare fleeting thought and never in anyway serious. I’m lucky. Whatever is that bad in my life it now doesn’t seem that bad – I may have joked on occasion that my wife and family would be financially sorted if I were to die due to all the policies that were attached to me – however as I’ve got older and changed jobs etc. most of that has gone too so sadly I’m only worth a few bob these days dead or alive.
Back to seriousness – the frivolity is only a cover for my sadness. We collectively as a society in the UK need to really look deep and hard at how our society is. Remember 20 years ago we had the Dunblane shooting- as a society we decided that handguns were a danger too far for us to accept and outlawed them. We’ve not had a school mass shooting since. Why aren’t we looking at the biggest killer of young men in the same critical manner? We’ve made cars safer, introduce endless speed limits, cameras etc. etc. to lower the death toll on our roads, we have debates whether contact rugby is “safe” for adolescents to play etc. but we don’t all stop and say – “Our society is actually the biggest killer.” If these people feel so much pressure and feel they cannot fit in or feel like they are succeeding in life then why aren’t we all doing something to change our money over quality of life drivers? Also why are we so closed to communication many of these people don’t talk to anyone – most suicides in Kent are unknown to mental health services. That says as much about society as the statistic of death doesn’t it? Does it say society really doesn’t care?
If anyone is reading this and is feeling low and bleak etc. please reach out wherever you can. That site is designed for Kent residents but has a web chat option and a UK phone number – so in theory anyone in the world/UK can still access it. I sincerely hope they do.
The Helpline is 0800 107 0160 – all calls are free from any UK landline or mobile
Also the UK Samaritans helpline number is 116 123. They are there to listen 24×7.