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Reachout Liverpool - preventing suicide logo

Lindsay’s story

Reachout Liverpool - preventing suicide logo

Lindsay’s story

When Liverpool resident Lindsay was just 14 years old, she began suffering from depression and anxiety and started to self-harm.

She struggled with it until her early twenties when she sought help by undergoing counselling. However, five years later, her world came crashing down and she hit rock bottom. Lindsay’s mental health had deteriorated so much that she was treated at a psychiatric hospital where she was diagnosed with a depressive disorder.

Lindsay, who is now 34 and employed as a project co-ordinator, has also attempted to take her own life on several occasions. She is now a passionate advocate for the need to talk about feelings of suicide to ensure people get the help they need.

Lindsay is now backing REACHOUT – a new suicide prevention campaign encouraging people to reach out and start a conversation – whether they are worried about someone – or are in crisis themselves. Reach Out Liverpool, launched by Liverpool Public Health, in partnership with Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust and Alder Hey Children’s Foundation Trust, reminds us that anyone can have suicidal thoughts, and how talking about suicide could save or change a life.

The campaign aims to raise awareness that suicide is preventable and to remove the stigma surrounding suicide – something which prevents people in crisis reaching out, and those around them from even mentioning the word.

It comes after the city has seen an increase in death by suicide in 2020 – which could have been associated with the impact of Covid-19, and the resulting anxiety from lockdowns, social isolation and job and financial insecurity.

Lindsay said:

“This is such an important campaign and very personal as I understand how vital it is to get this issue out in the open,” said Lindsay. “I feel that many people are still scared to talk about it, but we have to feel ok about it.

“I started to struggle when I was 14 and self-harmed as my way of dealing with it. I was young, frightened and bottled things up as I didn’t know how to deal with it. I only started to talk when my sister spotted an injury on my arm.

“It’s crucial that people talk, whether you are the person with suicidal feelings, or you are concerned about someone. I felt that by saying out loud how I was feeling, it takes the power away from those awful destructive feelings. I sometimes wondered when I was feeling desperate ‘why aren’t people asking me how I am?’ but I realise now that they probably didn’t know how to broach it or felt awkward about it.

“REACHOUT is incredibly important, because not only does it aim to increase awareness, it points people who may be concerned about someone to sources of help and provides advice and information on signs to look out for and tips to get a conversation going.”

REACHOUT contains three key parts: see the problem, say the words, signpost to support. It provides lots of help, tips and support, including an online suicide awareness training developed by the Zero Suicide Alliance. The 20-minute training provides the skills and confidence to help someone who may be considering suicide.

“This is all so helpful because it also addresses some of the misconceptions around talking about suicide,” added Lindsay. “For example, some people think that raising the subject of suicide with someone will put the idea in their head but it’s the opposite, it gives them permission to talk.

“I would encourage as many people as possible to get involved – it could save a life.”

For help and support visit having suicidal thoughts?