Equality First: measure and improve employment equality

This is the strategic objective and it’s a necessary one in equality campaigns. It isn’t perfect but perfect for an imperfect world, one I’m profoundly sick of living in in ways too numerous to count. Employment and job satisfaction are powerful mediators of bad outcomes but if the bull is grabbed by the proverbial horns there’s lots possible.

Robin Williams: respect for the dead?

Do we have this anymore? For celebrities, death becomes a news story pumping the cycle with comment and speculation.

Robin Williams’ death like the suicides of anyone are a tragedy in a horrible world which makes people want to die and has no panacea to save them. It is also a blessing for the man who is at last free and far away from the touch of suffering.

That’s all I’ll say. We should give the dead a little time before the media vultures and public commentators swoop in to carve up the death into news. A period of grace after death free from publications is what everyone deserves and no one should be disallowed – even celebrities.

If you were about to kill yourself which method would you use?

Obviously assisted suicide would be everyone’s choice but few countries have legalised it.

Instead I’d choose a large calibre hand gun. It’s highly reliable and painless. It’s a shame guns aren’t easily available in England. I could blow my brains out and be done with this shit of a life. Or a perfect suicide pill.

I’ve tried overdoses and they’re unreliable. Suffocation is difficult and painful; it is a terror-filled way to die. Any other options?

Suicide advocates

This is a quick idea based on my recent experience of the Samaritans. (Yes. Things are that bad).

They were of no value because they’re fundamentally flawed in what they offer. A safe space to talk is useful given the suicide taboo but as the only option from this country’s number one suicide organisation it is woefully inadequate. It’s why I’ve not contacted them before most of my suicide attempts. It’s not what I’m looking for.

Who would I communicate with before killing myself? The answer may not be practical but it’s true nonetheless: someone who could fix things. An advocate for the suicidal who can attempt to change the things which force people to their deaths.

Take debt and the catastrophic effect of bad debt. Many die because of it. Now though, thanks to an important victory by mental health organisations (namely Mind’s Debt and mental health campaign), health and social care professionals can intercede on a patient’s behalf and the industry is more mental health aware. This is ultimately social change but those who advocate for someone’s mental health play a vital role. This saves many suicides.

If this already established system to reduce distress and despair not by talking about it but doing something about it was widened to encompass other causes it’s clear more lives could be saved, lives of people who otherwise might never engage with anyone about their suicidal feelings.

Suicidal people need solutions, not empty words. Suicidal souls need protection against further suffering and a suicide advocate could be the buffer between those suffering intolerable despair and the world of inequity which harms them. This is how lives could be saved: not leaving the vulnerable unprotected.

This might be the remit of current mental health services but they have a history of failure, perhaps because they eschew real solutions in favour of medication and words alone. Thousands a year die when resolving the circumstances which made them suicidal could save lives.

An after thought is the possibility of this sort of idea as an early intervention in an assisted suicide pathway. Not everyone can be saved and anyone who is involved in suicide intervention must accept this truth. Its logical conclusion is the legalisation of assisted suicide because no one should have to suffer the torture of extended unfulfilled suicidal ideation. It wouldn’t be right.