Suicide can affect everyone, whether you know them personally as a friend, a friend of a friend, a part of the community or even a family member. It can make you confused - how could anyone do that to themselves? How could they do that to their family, or their friends?
A few weeks ago, I was leaving school when my mum texted me.
“Don’t be surprised if the bus is late, someone’s jumped off the motorway bridge near Tesco.”
I was shocked. I hoped they were okay and that they didn’t seriously injure themselves. I was hoping that it wasn’t anyone I knew. Then, later on in the evening, it came out that it was a 17 year old girl who had gone to a school nearby to mine and she’d actually died. My mum was upset, I was just shocked and the whole community pretty much just felt the same. The next day, a picture of the girl and her name was released by the police, her family paying tribute to her along with the whole community. Even though they didn’t know her, it affected everyone, especially with my town being so small.
Around a week passed and I still couldn’t believe what had happened. Some people were making fun of her at school, calling her a wuss for not dealing with her mental problems that lead to her death. But when you think about it, it takes enormous courage to even overcome the fact that you want to end your own life. I went to the motorway bridge, the police tape and air ambulances gone, the cars speeding by underneath the bridge where she had jumped from, and all that was left was the lining of flowers going all the way across the bridge, messages written in Korean saying “we’ll never forget you Rachel”. Her parents had written on the railing “Wish you were still here, love Mel and John.” Even though I didn’t know her, it did affect me and the rest of the community to lose someone so young who had their whole life ahead of them.
So if you or anybody else you know is going through a tough time, whether it be mental illness, home life or school life, it’s nothing to be ashamed of to look for help to treat your problems, even if you feel like there’s no way out. This can be with anyone, from your parents, friends, teachers or with someone that specialises in mental health e.g your school nurse or councillor. It’s not anything to be ashamed of, if you feel a certain way then it’s probably a good idea to talk to someone, even if it seems daunting or nerve-racking at first.
RIP Rachel C. , 2002-2019