Today [apparently] is World Suicide Prevention Day.
So, by strict interpretation of its title, this is the one day you aren't allowed kill yourself?
I'm a little baffled as to how they are going to prevent people from committing suicide? Are we supposed to lock up all our sharp objects, rope and drain cleaners just for today? If someone is hell bent on ending their own life the one thing they aren't going to do is talk about it. I would suggest that World Listen to People who are Depressed Day would be a hell of a lot more positive both in its approach and in its outcome.
Suicide is an intensely private and personal affair. No one goes down the pub and happily announces to their mates that they are going to top themselves the following day. No one discusses their intentions with their family. The one reaction families have after the event is "we never knew he [or she] was depressed. We had no idea". So if the families had no idea, then how were they supposed to prevent it?
I knew a bloke once who lived across the road from me. He was a very quiet amiable chap and we regularly had a chat when he was out cutting his grass or going for a walk. We had a few drinks in his house and he visited us occasionally. Then one day he went for a swim and never came back. It was a deliberate act [he couldn’t swim] but none of us saw it coming. And if we couldn't see it coming how were we supposed to prevent it?
If you ask me, this is just one of those fluffy feel-good non-events that people organise to make themselves feel better. Apparently the aim is to improve the nation’s understanding of suicidal behaviour, mental health and well-being, which essentially means nothing. How are they improving the nation's understanding? By shining an orange light on a few building we are all suddenly given the gift of insight into people's minds?
Suicide is a terrible thing, but the worst affected are those who are left behind. If they had seen it coming then of course they would have tried to help. They are forever going to ask themselves why, and will have to live with the feeling of guilt that they didn't see it coming.
Shining a light on a building isn't going to change that.