#SuicidePrevention help for those who are frontline workers in the era of #COVID19 who know how to save others lives BUT not their own….
Important Disclaimers: I am NOT a clinically trained medical or mental health professional, nor do I have any training in public safety.
I will always advise those in crisis seek immediate professional assistance from emergency services, going to the closest acute care facility or contacting above links for help.
The BUT though of why people especially physicians, nurses and first responders who know the resources but for reasons that I’ll address in blog, when in crisis themselves, would be the last people on the planet to actually contact them.
So, while the resources posted above are either for those who don’t know about the resources and are in need of them or really are in hopes for those people who know crisis resources due to profession to have a change of heart or mind, but if they aren’t able to, to talk more about their suicidal ideation by seeking other avenues of support that hopefully can help with bring some calm, comfort and clarity, which is so hard to come by, when one is in actual crisis.
But if one is not able to, something I understand, as someone who’s struggled with suicidal ideation knows all the resources, knows and has saved other people’s lives but has struggled when it’s come to saving my own life, hopefully this will help.
I don’t though want to trigger anyone, if topic matter is not able to provide constructive help, hope and healing, I beg of you to find something that will help you find the support you need to get through the crisis you are dealing with.
IF a picture is worth a thousand words, the above picture quote in this blog is worth about 10 million.
I’m not digressing by saying that, it just says as concisely and correctly as possible, how people who are struggling with suicidal thoughts.
The target population of this blog, is physicians, other frontline workers, first responders who are at risk of suicide, not that I don’t hope that what I say could help anyone who may be in need, and while I’ve addressed multiple times for suicide prevention/awareness in society, I’ve only addressed this in physician populations only once before prior to the COVID-19 era.
As a non clinical professional who still in a roundabout way treats patients (bariatric surgical complication patients) but more of a last responder than a first one, having medical and mental health crisis due to my own bariatric complications that were unpleasant, unprecedented, life threatening and unpredictable even after they were no longer life threatening, for years that have left me for almost 1/3rd of my life now, to live a life with a new normal, I know but only a tiny bit but so well the struggle and the suffering.
Just like most medical professionals, frontline workers and first responders didn’t need COVID-19 to know the fragility and complexity of disease to humans, it’s just that now we are all are confronted by so much more unprecedented unpredictable crisis beyond what even the most stable of psyches couldn’t still possibly comprehend and process constructively, especially in a global state of crisis.
The thing first and foremost is the realization, you didn’t sign up for this, while none of us did, those who spent years in medical school or some formal medical, mental health or first responder training there was really no way to fully psychologically prepare any one regardless of specialty to the challenges and crisis professionally you’re all facing, let alone the personal ones.
If one has taken the Hippocratic Oath, that was to vow to not do intentional harm, it wasn’t to say that as much of a calling wanting to save others lives is, that it is to be at your own peril and the ones you love, all day, everyday with not just a lack of essential tools but no back up support in sight with all the unknowns that we still have with the pandemic.
The point I’m trying to make, is if the reason why you’re reading this, finding that you’re psychologically drowning in the abundance of others medical and psychological suffering, as well as your own, I’m not going to tell you that you don’t have a right to feel the way you feel.
Because you absolutely have every right to feel overwhelmed, overworked and unsupported and the devastation that comes with that with no end that’s close in sight with the pandemic.
I’m also not going to throw out all the reasons why it’s wrong for you to be suicidal, that doesn’t help.
As well intentioned as hokey quotes like “put your hand over your heart and feel your heartbeat, that’s purpose and your life matters’ or harsher quotes that claim “suicide ends your suffering and just transfers it to another”, that isn’t going to help either, it’s just going to make you feel worse.
What I am going though to now ask of you, is where you are now, emotionally?
Thinking about suicide, as a possible path out of your suffering?
Actually having a plan, with means and a date and your reasons regardless if you’ve wrote them out or not?
Now, I am going to ask you that if you are acutely suicidal and are unwilling to seek out professional help, that if you cannot bear right now to see that suicide is not the only path that’s left for you yet, to at least think about postponing it, where you are willing to try and understand better the trauma and grief that’s behind that current chosen path for you as a Plan A and maybe for the time being, make it a Plan B,C,D,E or never, but you may not be ready not to have it as an option.
One thing that is not talked about in the complexity of suicidality, is that while grief and trauma play into it, there is that part where when some of us who’ve tried to die by suicide, there is sometimes a complex component that can contain a misplaced sense of thinking and finding comfort that our suffering would finally be over.
This is not the place but it bears mention, as I’m duty bound and ethically committed to doing right by people in crisis and I don’t want to hurt anyone who might be reading this blog, who’s lost a loved one due to suicide, where again you’re not the target audience for this blog and I do address that in other blogs of mine.
The hopes that I have for physicians, nurses, first responders who are suicidal is that they ideally will get the help they need from others.
But if there is an unwillingness to do that, to try and honor the grief one is experiencing and the trauma and hopefully it will spark the realization that your life right now being in jeopardy, is the priority and hopefully getting you to see that the tools you have to save others lives can be directed in saving your own life, if there is an unwillingness to get professional help.
There is more initiatives now that see the psychological toll but there has to be more plans in place to get more medical staff in the frontlines, not just because of concern that is justified with frontline staff getting COVID-19, as well as other medical health issues that don’t stop just because of the pandemic but because burnout and suicide in physicians and frontline, first responders was an issue prior to the pandemic.
Please know that if you’re a physician, frontline and/or first responder who’s despondent there is help and hope for you, the peace though you desperately need right now, can happen in small doses, as the trauma this has caused, isn’t close to being over either in society or in your psyche but progress can be made where despair isn’t all consuming, as I’m not going to lie and say that it’s a matter of mindset that’s causing your horrific suffering, or that how you feel is going to completely go away soon, as it may not. as it’s the trauma, grief and fear of helplessness and being so overwhelmed in such unprecedented circumstances that cause the despondency and working to overcome it where it isn’t a risk to your life, as far as suicide, will take time, trying a combination of therapies.
And again, I’m so sorry for all of you being so tested and for your sacrifice and suffering the trauma you’ve experienced and your grief.
I hope and pray though you can find it within yourself your value as a human first, as well as a healer that deserves to take time you may need to work on your own healing before you can save more lives but if you never save another life but your own, I hope you can see the heroes that you are and have always been and always will be.
I can’t stress again, I hope you get outside professional help but if you can’t, I hope you give yourself the dedication and attention to saving your own life like you would with another.
Sending peace and love and hopes and prayers that those who need it will accept that from me and so many who are wanting to help, having some understanding of why you are where you are emotionally…