Me and million others were shocked to hear of Caroline Flack taking her own life. A woman in the prime of her life with a thriving career and maybe a colourful love life. Of course, I don't know much about her and am not a Love Island spectator. I did see Caroline in Strictly Come Dancing back in 2014 when she won the series.
Talented in dancing and obviously in presenting, she had everything to live for. So what happened? We know that there was some domestic incident with her boyfriend back in December 2019. A court case was looming, despite her boyfriend not wanting to press charges. So how do things get so out of hand?
For one, the media is to blame. The treatment of beautiful and successful women in the UK is outrageous. The relentless hounding, shaming and looking for something so they can 'trash them'. This coupled with online trolls makes for a dangerous cocktail if you are at all on the sensitive side with maybe not much resilience.
Is it any wonder that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle decided to escape the UK media frenzy? The media does not distinguish between TV celebrities and royalty. Fodder is fodder to them.
Then we have the Crown Prosecution Service who felt they needed to press ahead with a trial. Why? There are so many cases of domestic violence that never come to trial. Why this one?
Suicide is preventable. It is usually death caused by depression and a final symptom of not being able to see a way out of the circumstances.
But there is always a way out of circumstances if one seeks appropriate help and here lies the problem. People don't ask for help.
Caroline wrote a post on her Instagram feed back in October 2019: " ....the last few weeks I've been in a really weird place... I find it hard to talk about it.... I guess it's anxiety and pressure of life... and when I actually reached out to someone they said I was draining. I feel like this is why some people keep their emotions to themselves. I certainly hate talking about my feelings. And being a burden is my biggest fear...."
This here tells a story. Most, if not all people who take their own life, do send out (what is known as) 'invitations' - when these are not picked up by people, they retreat and in the end might take their own life.
It's a skill we need to learn, how to listen, how to ask: how are you? and really want to hear the answer. There is many things we can do to help those in need when in a crisis. One such thing is to go on a Mental Health First Aid course. I just completed a two days course for both ADULTS and YOUTH. Get in touch with the MHFA England.
In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org.
For depression, get in touch with The Blurt Foundation.