[Dame Street, Dublin yesterday during a suspected suicide attempt on the roof of Abercrombie & Fitch]
Having posted images of the man on the roof ourselves….
Mairead Carey writes:
“I am 28 year Dublin woman. It has been a long time since I wrote around mental health as I became too old to contribute to Spun Out’s fantastic youth website. But after yesterdays social media explosion about a man who was standing on the top of the Abercrombie and Fitch building I just had to write something in response to the photographs and the comments such as “attention seeker”, “selfish” etc.
To those who were taking photographs, I know you probably felt helpless in the situation. I know you probably felt as if you needed to also talk to someone because seen someone at their lowest moment in their life is quite terrifying but photographs are not the answer. If you feel helpless watching the situation unfold, then please talk to the person beside you or call someone, let them know what’s happening for you. Posting photographs on social media outlets will only cause more damage to the person in distress on the top of the building.
Imagine having photographs posted of yourself at your own lowest point in life, it would be quite a traumatic event to see yourself in that state over and over all over social media. I know you all probably felt helpless but please in the future realise that photographs are damaging to that person and it is not in any way helpful at all.
…Another thing you should be aware of is that if you did feel helpless watching this person, you do not have feel helpless there are ways can help. You can raise awareness in a positive way about suicidal distress and mental health. You can raise awareness about reaching out for help that it is ok to do so. You can help lift the stigma around talking about mental health so no other person has to get to a place in life, so dark, so desperate and so hopeless. You can make a difference and once again photographs are not the way to go to make a difference.
…For the people who commented under the photographs in a negative way, I am sure it is just because you do not fully understand the seriousness of suicidal ideation/intent. I myself was suicidal at a few points in my life and let me tell you it is the most terrifying lowest place in life that a person can find themselves. I attempted suicide back in 2010, the reason behind it was that I had a past full of trauma, sexual abuse, sexual assaults and bullying. I thought that by taking my own life I would be saving the people around me from the pain of having to know any of this information. I also thought in those moments that there was no way life could ever possibly get better. At that time in my life I could barely make it into work, I was struggling to leave bed, I felt broken beyond repair and I felt no one deserved to be around me because I would only cause them pain. That is just a small part of my story but i reached out and got help
…And finally for those of you who are in suicidal distress, please do not get discouraged away from life by any of the events that unfolded on social media yesterday, please reach out, please get the help and support you need. You might not know it now but you and your life are worth it. You have nothing left to lose by reaching out, it is worth the chance. There are people and services out there waiting to help you. You may only see darkness at the minute but take this message as a tiny bit of the light seeping into your life. You deserve the best in life and I promise you IT DOES GET BETTER.”
(Sam, Boal/Photocall Ireland)