Andrea Harrn Counselling Services

Who is responsible for a suicide?

Is there anyone close to you that has become quieter more recently, upset, depressed, shutting themselves off, not talking or perhaps behaving out of character.

It is a sad fact that each year there are many people who take their own life (5,608 in the UK in 2010) or come near to it with suicidal thoughts.

The sad news of Nurse Jacintha Saldanha, who committed suicide after falling for a prank call involving Kate Middleton, has left a sadness in so many hearts and my sincere condolences go out to her family and friends.

Investigations are underway about the events leading up to her death.  Two young Australian DJ’s who made the phone calls are shocked and shattered and talk about being gutted and heartbroken themselves. They recently called the Queen Elizabeth II hospital pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles to get information about Kate, The Duchess of Cambridge who was in hospital for sickness during early pregnancy.

So who is responsible for a suicide?  

We are all responsible for our own lives and this might sound a hard line to take at such a difficult time but I believe this to be true.   Choosing to Not Live is a personal choice.

We all mistakes because we are human.  How we cope with the mistakes we make will depend on our state of mind at the time.  Who knows what was going on in the mind of this lady.  Clearly she was distraught at what had happened around this prank call.  It will be interesting to know how this was handled by those around her.   When a suicide happens it leaves many unanswered questions and huge grief for those left behind.   Quite often people that commit suicide have been planning it for a while and do not talk or share their thoughts.  A problem shared is a problem halved and talking it through with a friend or professional can clarify your thoughts and help you to make a decision about your own life.  

If there is someone you are worried about please talk to them and encourage them to get some help or perhaps give them a kind word of comfort and support.

Can people be driven to taking their own life?

Yes!   We can be driven to suicide by situations we are in and the behaviour of others.  Life is full of challenges, unfairness, thoughtlessness and all sorts of other difficult hurtful situations.  Ultimately however we are still responsible for that act that takes our own life. 
If you are feeling alone, sad, depressed, hurt, ashamed, guilty or any other difficult feelings then please know that there are others out there feeling just like you.  You are not alone – none of us are.   Think about the people in your life who will be shattered if you are no longer alive, in their lives.  Give them a chance to be with you.

What this incident can teach us all is to be mindful of our own behaviour and actions and to treat others with love and respect.  Where the media is concerned I think its a good lesson for all journalists to act in an ethical and moral way for all concerned towards the public.

If you are feeling suicidal please speak to your GP or the Samaritans
Affirmation:  I am resourceful and strong and will find a way forward through connection and love with those around me.

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