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Possible Trigger Warning…

Suicide and Self-harm discussed in general within this post.  Whilst all caution has been taken in the writing of this post reader caution is also advised.

I wonder if you have ever wanted to send a parcel or letter or message at work and been asked, as part of the office mailing system to “Please Indicate Priority Level” as part of that system.

In fac t setting priorities is something that most of us do most days and a lot of times without even having to consciously think about it.

But what makes one thing a priority over something else and indeed what changes something from being a priority to be urgent?

After all, whilst there are common criteria which we all use isn’t it also true that sometimes we have our own personal criteria which others may not agree with.

Take for these following scenario and statements for example.

In this scenario you have a friend who has mental health issues and can as a result of them be quite demanding on you and your time.

Naturally this in turn places you under a great deal of pressure in respect of your other obligations and so you have to decide which of the following statements your friend makes you need to respond to immediately – the urgent ones if you will, which you need to respond to fairly quickly but not right away necessarily – a priority but not urgent, and which you can safely respond to when you have a little more time…

Here are the statements, simply place them in order of priority…

A ) Feeling blue

B)  Doesn’t want to go on living.

C)  Feeling suicidal

D) Feeling like life isn’t worth living anymore.

E)  Feeling kind of ok but not quite right.

F) Feeling like I want to hurt myself

G) I don’t feel anything

H)  Feeling ok thanks.

Its a difficult choice to make isn’t it?

How about we change the scenario a little?  What if instead of how you are going to respond to a friend and his or her feelings and subsequent statements, we instead make those your feeling and your statements.  How would you prioritize them now?

After all, let’s be honest here, if you look at that list and place them in order from least urgent to most urgent it is very easy to see that actually those statements can so easily lead into each other and one can very quickly change to another.

As someone who experiences all of the mindsets behind those statements and as  who, I am sure, made all of those statements from time to time I can testify how easily an quickly one mindset can lead to another.

Today the blogosphere or more precisely the mental health section of the blogosphere is awash with Suicide related posts and rightly so since today (Sept 10th 2012) is World Suicide Prevention Day.

Whilst this is all about awareness, for me, the key word in all of this has to be Prevention.  Very often recognizing any progressions in our mental health can be an essential to preventing escalations in it.

And when it comes to suicidal thoughts I know first hand how, for me at least and I am sure for others,  those mindsets and thought processes that I have listed within our statements above can lead into each other and cause those dangerous escalations.

I need to be clear here. Self-Harming isn’t always linked to suicide or suicidal thoughts and it is possible for those who do Self-Harm to not even consider Suicide, just as it is possible for those who consider suicide not have ever considered or practiced Self-Harm.

But for those of us who do struggle with Self-Harm, and Suicide Ideation the risks are obvious and the risks of escalations in poor mental health or harmful mindsets are just as real for all of us.

Having the wrong approach to our thought processes.  Not dealing with them when they need addressing.  Not seeking help when it is needed and available or not finding help when it is needed and our normal help sources are not available can all be so very harmful.  Even and especially when you don’t feel we deserve or are not worth that help.

So I am going to display our list of mindsets and statements again and ask you to  do something for me.

Looking at our list identify the statements and mindsets which you are familiar with and decide on healthy responses to them and the priority of responses needed.

A ) Feeling blue

B)  Doesn’t want to go on living.

C)  Feeling suicidal

D) Feeling like life isn’t worth living anymore.

E)  Feeling kind of ok but not quite right.

F) Feeling like I want to hurt myself

G) I don’t feel anything

H)  Feeling ok thanks.

And once you have done that – how about making a commitment to do all you can  to afford yourself those responses from now on?

Because no matter what you have done or how you have feel about yourself I am convinced that there is hope, that you are and can be worth it, and that affording yourself and taking the right responses can prevent so much hardship.

And I am convinced that making our own well-being a priority in our lives is all part of the doorway to better mental health.

 

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