A bus pass and wave goodbye

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This past Sunday, I was admitted into the E.R. for attempting to take my own life.

I was at my wit’s end, struggling with the many thoughts that spring into the minds of all sufferers of depression at some point in their lives.

“You’re not good enough.”

“You’re horrible at your job.”

“Nobody will care if you’re gone.”

“Don’t reach out, you’re just going to be a burden.”

“The world is a better place without you.”

I couldn’t handle it anymore and that night with these thoughts loaded in my brain, I decided to try to take my life.

I was handed a bus pass and that was that.

I was lucky enough that a friend and colleague that I had talked to about my battles came over to my house and found me.

He ended up taking me to the ER for the night, and at the end of the day I felt the thoughts of many suicide attempt survivors.

Exhausted.

Embarrassed.

What do I do next?

I truly don’t know.

At the ER, I spoke with the psych nurse for an hour, had some bloodwork drawn, but the next morning, was released under the notion I had a friend’s place that I was going to right after.

I was handed a bus pass and that was that.

I never spoke to a psychiatrist. Never was offered a change to my medication. Only to be given a business card which put me in touch with the hospital’s mental health transition team.

I never really had enough time to process it and honestly spent the next few days lying in bed, exhausted and not really thinking much about what happened.

Then it struck me! I was a suicidal patient who admitted to attempting to take his life, yet, only to be given a bus pass and leaving under the notion I was seeing a friend right after.

This could’ve gone terribly wrong for so many reasons.

Not everyone has close friends and family they can turn to after an event like this.

If given a bus pass the day after their suicide attempt and still wanting to take their life, the average person could use this and take a trip to a nearby bridge and end their life there.

If someone was suicidal enough, they could also tell the hospital they had somewhere to go, even if they didn’t.

This is a problem everywhere and as we approach #BellLetsTalkDay and hear from notable figures across the country on the importance of ending the stigma, we also need to shift from talking to action.

It’s 2021, talking isn’t enough anymore.

It is unacceptable that a suicidal patient gets discharged 12 hours after their attempt and given a bus pass.

We need better mental health care and treatment in our country, otherwise, we will continue to lose thousands of people per year to suicide.

I’m still battling and it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel but the fact that after my attempt, I was left to my own thoughts and advice from my support system on what to do next is outrageous.

We need mental health professionals to help create a plan for patients after a suicide attempt, we need psychiatrists to talk to these patients and prescribe medication if necessary.

Ending the stigma is great and all but means nothing if our government is going to continue to ignore the problem at hand.

People who attempt to take their own life or have suicidal thoughts and put their trust in the healthcare system shouldn’t be turned away.

If it were someone having a heart attack, they would be kept at the hospital and given proper treatment, not told to rely on a friend.

It’s 2021, talking isn’t enough anymore.

More than anything, we need action.

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Comments

Lois Glenister
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I think your experience resonates with many of us who have found ourselves in similar situations. I had just relocated to a new city, I didn’t know anyone there, clearly suicidal, was discharged from the ER and told to call the local crisis line. I agree, talking isn’t enough.

Rosie Woods
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The investment in mental health research and resources is way below that for physical ills and totally disproportionate to numbers of sufferers. This need to change

Marcia perryman
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I am horrified and furious with that system and thank-you for writing your story. This is not rocket science but it needs changes in the health care system

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