This week we’ll be observing World Suicide Prevention Day, which happens on the 10th September every year, in order to provide worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides. This year we are raising awareness of the stigma around suicide. We will be giving a platform to our brave Champions who are at the heart of the Time to Change Wales campaign in order to end stigma. 

In this blog, Joe writes about the impact of the pandemic on his mental health. He shares some powerful lyrics about the hope that his one year old son brings him when he struggles with suicidal feelings.

I have bipolar and throughout my adult life I have suffered with some very severe bouts of depression. During my darkest moments suicidal thoughts can become all- encompassing. Thankfully I have never put those thoughts into action. The main reason that stops me is the guilt thinking about the impact it would have on my family and friends. That guilt doesn’t stop the thoughts though and in my lowest moments depression can give me the false belief that everyone would be better off without me.

This last 18 months have taken a serious toll on my mental health and I have had some very low moments where thoughts of death and suicide have pushed out all other thoughts. I recently felt like this for several days but this time it was my one year old son who pulled me out of the darkness. A moment of silliness playing peekaboo with both of us making the other laugh made me realise I can’t leave him fatherless. There is no scenario in which he would be better off without me. The combination of protective paternal feelings and the hope he gives me is what I now hold on to get me through those bleak moments.

One sleepless night recently I decided I would express the feelings of hope versus depression into lyrics. I don’t know if I will ever make this into a fully fledged song but writing it really helped me process what I have been through. I hope reading this will be of help to someone struggling. There is always hope, and there is always someone waiting to help you through the darkness.

Duel of the Mind

On one side there is danger The other side there is hope Fear is never a stranger But then I feel I can cope

The happiness inside me Can wilt away in seconds Like leaves on a summer tree Can feel that winter beckons

The fight for my future Feels out of my control When I see no future It really takes it’s toll

The dark path before me Is all that I can see Then I turn a corner And know that I am free

When all thoughts are negative I see your happy smile
I know I have more to give Though life can be a trial

I never want to leave you I never want to go
I never want to leave you How can I feel so low?

I never want to leave you I never want to go
I never want to leave you To darkness I say no!

In the lonely long dark nights
I feel nothing but despair Light and darkness have their fights The sun helps my mind repair

Death is always calling me But Life is battle ready
The scythe wants to take my fee But not now I am steady

The dark path before me Is all that I can see Then I turn a corner And know that I am free

When all thoughts are negative I see your happy smile
I know I have more to give Though life can be a trial

I never want to leave you I never want to go
I never want to leave you How can I feel so low?

I never want to leave you I never want to go
I never want to leave you To darkness I say no!

So, no! NO! No! NO!
I don’t want to go!
The dark path laid before me Is never set in stone

So, no! NO! No! NO!
I don’t want to go!
The dark path laid before me Is never set in stone

You may also like:

#WSPD Louisa's story

Louisa shares her experience of being admitted to an adult acute psychiatric ward. She calls for you to reach out if you are in crisis, saying “there are always, always people out there who will listen".

8th September 2021, 2.30pm | Written by: Louisa

Find out more

How my mental health experiences led me to embark on a career in midwifery

Claire opens up about how her mental health struggles led her to a career in midwifery.

26th July 2021, 4.00pm | Written by: Claire

Find out more