December 2013, aged 23, I overdosed. Prior to overdosing I went to the hospital and told a health care professional my diagnosis and how I was feeling. And I was turned away. That is why I decided to end it, because if even a stranger who was paid to help did not want to, then what life did I have? I took many pills and almost died.
This was in 2013, not 1960. Why at a young age, asking for help, was I turned away? Mostly it’s a lack of awareness, and ignorance.
Don’t turn away those who need help
When someone comes to you feeling suicidal or when something is wrong, do NOT ever take it lightly, especially if you are a health professional. I am very lucky (and so is the mental health nurse who turned me away) that I did not die that day. But this experience, while troubling, also made me who I am today.
It renewed my commitment to helping others like me to get through the bad times. To be there for someone, as I wish at that time I’d had someone who would have listened to me. I never want another 20-something-year-old, struggling with mental illness, to go to hospital, ask for help and then be turned away.
The recovery was long but worth it and I still excelled afterwards. I was working in a foreign country and after the incident the support was amazing. Thank you to the other NHS St. George Trust for all your help. You were amazing. To the mental health nurse who turned me away, it’s not your fault we live in a society where we do not listen. A society where we don’t care about those who are struggling and don’t understand the workings of mental illness.
My main mission is to encourage others to push for health care and not to give up. If I could go back in time, I would say to the nurse, ‘I am not going home unless I see someone.’ That my life is worth it, and I am not being ’emotional’.
I promised myself on January 1st, 2014, that my new mission was to take care of me and thrive, and also to help those in my shoes, or worse.
If you do not believe strangers care, that this is true – I care. At that time, I had no one close who knew the true extent of my struggles and I assumed they did not care. I was wrong. And you are wrong; there is someone who will care. Always.
But the number one person to care about you is YOU! So be pushy, demanding, until you are not just heard but understood.
Reproduced with permission, originally posted on sexyfearlessfierce