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Coping with Loss: Navigating Mental Health Challenges

Chaos on the Commute, coping with loss!

Coping with Loss amidst tragedy, I was driving to work and talking on the phone hands-free to a friend. It wasn’t long after 7 am. I said to my friend, ‘I wonder what’s happening at the station?’. There were two ambulances, Fire Chiefs, trucks, police, and people everywhere. I arrived at work to be told someone had stepped off the platform in front of a train.

Seeking Clarity Amidst Confusion – The Search for Answers

Later in the day, I thought I’d see what had really happened. All I could find were stories on the train chaos during the morning peak, and that commuters will have to wait for buses, and what bus numbers passengers were to catch. There was only a small mention about the passenger being hit by a train. I’m writing this two days later, and I still can’t find a journalistic report following up on what happened. At the moment I’m on The Western Weekender Facebook page which is our local paper, where there’s a two-day-old report on the chaos caused by this person being hit by a train. And as I read down the comments, it is noted that it was a schoolboy. There are some comments that are thoughtless and lack understanding. Some people were on the station or on the train at the time it happened and spoke of the impact it had on them. There are a few fighting amongst themselves about insignificant things. I scrolled until I came across a thoughtful comment.

Lucinda: Advocating for Mental Health

A woman whose comment was:‘Western weekender, please run a longer form article about mental health services in the local area. Despite the commute being inconvenient. This morning, it seems a lot more important to talk about the reason for it. You have a prominent voice in our community, do some research and get writing.’

That was written by Lucinda Gubert Young.  Many people agreed with her sentiment, and so I’ve decided to write something as well.

Alarming Statistics: Understanding the Impact of Male Suicide and coping with loss

I’ve written a few articles on men’s mental health. Previously, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, it states that six men a day will die by suicide. This is an appallingly high rate. If we look at that statistic over a year, that’s 2190 men.

Seeking Support: Steps Toward Healing

If you’re feeling you can’t go on, know that what you’re going through is temporary, things can change. But suicide is permanent. Firstly, grab a blank piece of paper and write down who your trusted people are, and feel comfortable having a real deep conversation with. Think about Mum, Dad, grandparents, teachers, friends, and anyone else you can think of who you can trust.

Reaching Out: The Importance of Trusted Relationships

Next, get your journal out and write down exactly how you feel, and precisely what’s happening to you at the moment. It’s best to get very clear about what you want to share. This is important, so the person you speak to has a clear idea about your situation. Next, ask your trusted person to meet you for deeper meaningful conversation about what you’re going through. Be prepared for them to be shocked with what you’re telling them. Keep talking. Don’t stop. Let your person know that it’s important for you to have this talk with them. You could even read to them from your diary, so you don’t have to look at them. Keep reading. Keep talking no matter what the reaction. You really need support people right now.

Safety First: Ensuring Well-being in Crisis

Now, you need every bit of support you can get. Know that your person might feel overwhelmed and need help to be able to support you. They may need you to call the professional too. You also need to keep safe. Remember, thoughts are just set their thoughts and they can change. Suicide is a permanent solution with thoughts that are only temporary. If you’ve decided to end your life,  call a suicide prevention service Lifeline or beyond blue or suicide callback, or any of the suicide lines in your area. Make sure you remove anything in the house that will assist you in ending your life. Don’t be alone, call a friend. And especially don’t drink or take any drugs.

Embracing Feelings: The Power of Journaling and Self-Reflection

So what I’d really like you to do right now is grab a journal and put the heading feelings, nothing more than feelings and emotions. I’d love you to do this little experiment over the next few weeks or longer if you want. So have this exercise book or journal or whatever, and write that title every single day. Have a look at what you’re thinking and feeling. Where is it in your body? Can you feel butterflies in your stomach? Is your chest tight? Are your hands sweaty? Are they tingling? What’s happening for you? Write everything down. If you’re angry, write down who you’re angry at and why. Is there a solution to that? If not talk to somebody. Do this over the next few weeks, every day if possible, or at least on the days when you have strong feelings.

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Cait Wotherspoon - coping with loss

Cait Wotherspoon

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