Dr. Paul Gelston, Clinical Psychologist at Dubai Community Health Centre shares his advice:
What to do if you’re having suicidal thoughts:
For people suffering with mental health difficulties, one of the helpful things you can do is to become familiar with your symptoms: how your difficulties usually present, what triggers the difficulties and what helps them. I would advise anyone who has thoughts that life is not worth living or that things appear hopeless, to please reach out to someone – a friend, colleague, family member or a professional. Feelings and mental health difficulties are very often temporary, and sometimes in the midst of suffering it is very difficult to see solutions or a ‘way out’. However, sharing how you are feeling is the first step to progress. Help is out there in various forms (see list at the end of the article), so never suffer in silence.
What to do if you think someone you know is having suicidal thoughts:
Reaching out to them can be a life-changing step. Simply inviting someone for a coffee or for dinner or by suggesting a walk is a great way to connect with someone to facilitate the conversation. Asking things like, ‘You seem to have been a bit withdrawn lately, is everything OK?’ or ‘I’ve noticed you’ve been a bit stressed recently. How are you doing?’ is a gentle, helpful way to approach the issue without being too direct or pushy. Keep in mind that many of us are very new to talking about our feelings or mental health and for a lot of people, it is not easy. It is essential to seek extra guidance from a psychologist or mental health professional if there are serious concerns about a person’s wellbeing. Offering to attend an appointment with a friend or family member you are worried about can be a helpful gesture.
If you, or someone you know, may be thinking about suicide please see the advice below on how to get help.
For medical help and emergencies:
Mental Support line: 8004673
(available from 9am to 9pm) or email: [email protected] or visit the associated website
In cases of emergency visit Al Amal Psychiatric Hospital in Al Aweer, Dubai, in person. You can also call or Whatsapp: 045192500
Find them here: https://goo.gl/maps/QB5xR6gMXfTtrLwh9
For advice and help:
Darkness Into Light: www.dil.ae
Dubai Community Health Centre: www.dubaicommunityhc.com
Devinder Bains is journalist of 20 years, working as a writer and editor on some of the biggest national magazines, newspapers and online publications in the UK and the Middle East. She specialises in women’s empowerment, fashion, race, culture and travel, and as a qualified personal trainer and nutrition coach, she is an expert in health and fitness. She splits her time between freelance writing and running Fit Squad DXB – Dubai’s largest personal training and wellness company.