Big boys Do cry

Guy crying
Big Boys DO cry!!!
But who is listening?
Benjamin Disraeli’s quip, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics,” has often been proven true in today’s media, but here are a few hard numbers that tell it like it is:
Between 1997 and 2015, more than 75% of all 4,315 suicides in Northern Ireland were males and almost 1/3 of those males were aged between 15 and 29. (Abstracted from NISRA 2016).
To put those seemingly small numbers in context, an average of all the years of those lives comes to 23,874 YEARS – almost 24 millennia – LOST, to say nothing of the devastation to the lives of their families and friends, who must try to carry on, with the unanswered questions.
My mentor and golden-hearted friend, Carole Henderson, wrote these valuable words:
Why we need to talk about suicide
It doesn’t matter what angle you come at this topic – the question “why?” is there. To those left behind when someone has completed suicide “why?” is the burning, spear of agony that destroys sleep, destroys relationships and often destroys lives.
More than 6000 people a year end their own lives in the UK and that figure is growing. Why?
Every 4 minutes in the UK someone attempts suicide – once every 90 minutes someone succeeds.
These figures are shocking and bewildering to most who read about them, and a nightmare for those directly affected so who or what is responsible?
The answers inevitably are complex and varied and it is too easy for those of us not on the frontline to think it’s tragic but there’s nothing I can do. Wrong. There are things we can all do:
1 Talk about it. 
Most people are afraid to ask if someone is feeling suicidal as they imagine this might encourage it to happen. In fact, the opposite is true. By starting the conversation, you can help them get the help they need. If you’re not sure where to start download excellent leaflet from The University of Exeter Medical School.
2 Look for warning signs 
Warning signs that someone may be thinking about or planning suicide include:
Always talking or thinking about death
Clinical depression — deep sadness, loss of interest, trouble sleeping and eating — that gets worse
Having a “death wish,” tempting fate by engaging in risky behaviours
Losing interest in things they used to care about
Making comments about being hopeless, helpless, or worthless
Putting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, changing a will
Saying things like “it would be better if I wasn’t here” or “I want out”
Sudden, unexpected switch from being very sad to being very calm or appearing to be happy
Talking about suicide or killing themselves
Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
3 Don’t make assumptions 
There now seems to be a prevailing assumption that all who take their own lives have some form of mental illness. In fact, 75% of all suicides come “out of the blue” in that the person had no previous diagnosis or interaction with mental health provision. Don’t think “oh they’re not the suicidal type” there isn’t a type. It can happen to anyone.
Another friend with a golden heart is my Tutor, Phyl Edmonds, who has been interviewed and her story will be in the Sunday Mirror Notebook Magazine on 10th September 2017. I won’t use the clichéd, ‘read it and weep’, but you may very well find something that strikes a chord with your own experience.
You can contact me at if you are resident in Northern Ireland or at for other UK  regions.

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