Charlotte: A suicide survivor’s story
According to World Health Organisation, more than 70,000 people take their own lives each year. Every suicide is a tragedy that affects families and communities and has long-lasting effects on the loved ones left behind. Suicide is preventable, however, not everyone knows that there is help available.
After losing her father to suicide following his battle with mental health in 2019, Charlotte created HOPE – an online non-profit support and advice group for those battling common mental health problems. She hopes to show that support is always out there; you are not alone. This is Charlotte’s story.
The origins of HOPE
During lockdown, I set up my own online non-profit support and advice group. It’s aimed at those who are battling common mental health problems such as anxiety and depression and it’s called HOPE. On my website, I have created a members’ chat, forum and messaging service to give people access to a person to talk to about what’s on their mind, seek advice and share experiences to help support each other and offer advice.
On my website, I have also attached self-help guides, therapeutic methods and links to professional advice and support information and contact details of charities that support those with mental illness including SANE and others. I’ll also be doing lots of fundraising events for these charities – at the moment it will be a lot of online stuff due to lockdown but once it’s eased we will be doing lots of fundraising events in the local communities. Please check out my website and share with friends and family – http://www.hope4all.site. We welcome anyone to our site and encourage you to sign up as a member.
My dad’s suicide story
I was inspired to do this because in October 2019 my dad took his own life after a battle with his mental health. He experienced some stressful events in his life that led to a big decline in his mental health which led to him being sectioned under the Mental Health Act back in May 2019. He was diagnosed with psychotic paranoid depression, serious anxiety and acute PTSD at this time.
My dad spent just over a month in the hospital and when he came home he was never the same man again – he was anxious all the time and felt completely worthless. I watched a strong, confident, larger than life, funny man change into a person I did not recognise. He went into himself, didn’t smile anymore, didn’t laugh anymore, didn’t show any emotion at all just pure sadness, hurt and silence, and he had no self-worth at all. He would constantly say he wasn’t good enough, he let us down, he was a burden, he was useless, he couldn’t find one single thing good about himself and it broke my heart because I could have told him a million things good about himself that’s for sure.
Months went by with little improvement and in September 2019 my mum caught him ready to take his own life and had to wrestle to stop him. She then had to fight him to take him to the hospital where he was again sectioned but for just one week! He convinced us all that he had made a silly mistake, he didn’t want to die, it was his medication that made him do it and he was sorry. He was very convincing and we were so naive.
A few weeks went by and my dad seemed to make improvements. He got his motivation back, he started doing things around the house, every time I spoke to him he was in good spirits and he even started cracking some jokes and I saw him smile again. I was honestly so happy I couldn’t believe how much he had improved and I thought, yes he is going to recover from this – how wrong could I be.
Things started to improve a lot so mum attended an event she had planned for a long time which involved an overnight stay. She felt comfortable leaving my dad for one night as he was in good spirits and she was coming back early the next morning. When my mum returned the next morning she found my dad had passed away. He had taken his own life.
You’re not alone
The pain I felt that day has no words and it is one of the most painful things I have ever experienced in my life and I hope I never feel like that again. I have lost people in my family but the grief you feel when losing someone through suicide is indescribable. You feel anger, hate, guilt, confusion and sadness all at the same time; you feel lonely like the walls are closing in around you.
I don’t remember much of that day all I remember is being in pain – in my heart, in my bones, my body just hurt. My dad was not fully aware of the help and support that was available and I’m sad that this was the case. So I created HOPE to allow more people access to this information.
Thank you for reading and remember you are NOT ALONE.
If you have been affected by Charlotte’s story or are struggling with your mental health, please visit our emotional support page where you can find more about our support services.