Alarming – yes, Shocking – yes, Traumatic – yes, Surprising – NO

@telegraph released an article highlighting the horrific and newly identified @WHO statistics that suicide is now the universal number one killer of young girls 15-19 years old.

What I find most frightening about this release of information is that it is only skimming the surface. How many people have either never reported or mis-reported: self-harm injuries, suicidal thoughts, attempted suicide and/or suicide?

The numbers will be far greater than those charted by @WHO. We need action at ground level, in our homes, our schools, our clubs, our communities. #preventMHI will only happen when communication is happening, and I don’t mean talking about it, I mean talking about you, talking about your friend, talking about your family member, talking about the kid who you sit next to in class who isn’t in your friendship group but who confides in you, talking about your neighbour who made a random comment that made you wonder if something is wrong.

Self-harming, suicidal thoughts and/or actions don’t just happen they are nurtured. Nurtured by; negative thoughts, disruptive feelings and maladaptive behaviours. It is not just those of the sufferer, but also as a result of negative thoughts and maladaptive behaviours that have influenced relationships connected to the sufferer.

Self-harming isn’t just cutting or burning your skin, it’s also isolating oneself, eating disorders, addictions, trichotillomania (pulling out ones hair) and other self-sabotaging behaviours.

Self-harming and/or suicidal ideation is not racist, sexist, ageist, abilitist (ability related), it does not discriminate according to socio-economic group, residential conditions or anything else. We are all just as capable of suffering from self-sabotage.

Self-harming and/or suicidal does not necessarily mean you’re crazy.

What does it all mean?

It means that you are possibly looking to belong, to feel wanted, needed, have a sense of purpose, connect with someone else who you feel safe with and valued by.

It means you may not be sure how to live in this world as you are, with no need for voyeurism or a desire for escapism because the you feel the real world is cruel or overwhelming or meaningless or you are worthless in it.

Each and every victim of self-harming or suicidal ideation will have a different story, they will have a different meaning attached to what they are experiencing and they will need time, space, support and trusting relationship(s) to rely on whilst they journey back to a better place of being.