Suicide Prevention Day
It really could just be another Thursday today. It's a clear morning, we've had a really productive week in the office and of course it's Friday tomorrow. But this Thursday is one of the most important days of the year to me. Yes I got up, left the house and came to the office. And as soon as I woke up, I counted my blessings that I was able to do that. September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day and it's always a huge day of reflection for me - because I see absolutely no shame in saying I had tried to take my own life on two separate occasions. I am so, so glad I didn't.
Suicide rates hit a record high in 2019, with the North East showing the most worrying statistics than any other region. With 2020 proving to be relentless in its trials and tribulations, it's imperative that we create safe environments in our workplaces to have open and honest conversations about our mental health to remove those dated stigmas surrounding people who are suffering.
I was pretty quiet about... well, everything, really until this year happened. I knew I loved my job as Director at BMC and I hoped my team were equally as happy. The focus was simply on doing well. I realise now that in the same way someone physically being unwell can effect how they feel about their livelihoods, depression and anxiety can be significantly more sinister - and if I didn't take those first terrifying steps of speaking about my own demons, how could anyone in the team I care about feel brave enough to do the same?
As soon as I spoke out, the support was phenomenal and I've connected with so many inspiring businesses who share the same ethos of protecting minds in their careers. I'm particularly proud of the work done by Rhonda D'Ambrosio with 'Mental Health In Recruitment', which is a programme built specifically to help recruiters bring authentic change in opinion on mental health and create meaningful strategies for those in the industry. So much so that I became a Champion for them in July and continue to integrate MHIR's message in all we do at BMC.
So, like we'll be checking in on each other in the office today, take a minute to stop and think about potential signs of someone suffering. They aren't always loud as the other elements of working in recruitment, but they're maybe even more important.
And if you wake up, get to work and realise you're the one who's struggling please remember there's no shame is speaking to someone about it. It will literally change your life.
Be yourself, be kind to yourself and others, and just have a talk when you need one.