This was sent into us by a follower and we thought that it highlighted a very important message at a time when more and more people are starting to take notice of their own mental health.
Serving in the emergency services and NHS, takes its toll on the human mind. Of that, there can be no doubt.
We all deal with the things we have seen in different ways. But what IS important, is that if you ever feel like you cannot process the unwanted thoughts, flashbacks or memories which keep coming back into your mind, then you speak to other people who might be able to help.
At the bottom of this article, I will add a link to a Facebook support group that has been set up by one of our admins.
I will also put a link to the authors website so, if their words resonate with you, then you can stay up-to-date with their future blogs:
‘Today I took one of those calls. One of those calls that you’ll never forget. One of those calls that puts everything into perspective in a matter of minutes.
‘I’m used to the tone that comes before the call and I’m used to exchange announcing the call. I’m used to the screaming voice of the caller pleading for help. Im used to having to tell them to “take deep breaths” and that “help is on its way”.
‘And, to be honest, I’m used to being called a “c u next Tuesday” and every other profanity under the sun.
‘But some things you never get used to. Some things will always knock the breath from you and choke you up. When a 999 call comes through the caller tends to be hysterical because (most of the time) there is an emergency.
‘However this hysteria was different. I knew that immediately. Exchange announced there had been a “multiple request for police and ambulance” and I instantly knew this call was different.
‘The caller, frantic with despair, told me their partner had hanged themselves in their home. To tell someone they have to cut their loved one down from the noose tightly drawn around their neck and to tell them they are going to have to perform CPR, for them only to reply “I don’t think there’s much point now” is truly morbid.
‘To hear the screams as they leave the phone off the hook in order to attempt cutting their partner down, unsure whether they are dead or alive, is haunting.
“Take some deep breaths for me” “help is on its way” “you’re doing so well, I know how horrible this must be for you” – this time saying this didn’t feel enough.
‘I listened hopelessly to my distraught caller as they chanted over and over “why have you done this to me? Why have you done this to me?”
‘After the call had ended I was left feeling weirdly unsettled and disturbed. My heart bled for my caller and it bled for their partner. I didn’t cry. I just sat at my desk with my heart sinking and my head muggy; the feeling you get when you can think of anything yet you’re thinking about a thousand things at once.
‘This was THE call for me. The call that I struggled to keep emotionally detached from, which I’m so used to doing.
‘I don’t tend to take calls home with me, once it’s done it’s done and it’s no longer my problem. This one was different. I went to the gym and all I could think about was this poor individual and how they were going to be as a result of this horrible trauma.
‘I went to the pub and, still, they were all I could think about. This stranger had such a huge, unexpected impact on my life.
‘This call made me realise several things.
‘1. There have been dark times in my life, some very recently, where I have felt so helpless and alone that I’ve thought there’s only one way out. Although I never thought this was something I’d act upon, the thoughts were very much apparent.
‘I have been living with chronic depression for 10 years and when I go through my lows, they are REALLY low – rock bottom low. All I want is out. But this call confirmed why “out” is not an option. Or not the right one at least.
‘Hearing my caller chant over and over “why have you done this to me?” was, and is, the most heartbreaking thing I have ever heard in my entire life.
‘The desperation and the pain behind it made my stomach drop.
‘Mental health is so toxic and evil that it can easily persuade you that you are in fact totally alone and no one, not even the people you know love you, cares.
‘Its a comparison people often make but it’s completely spot on when people say it’s like there is a demon inside of you telling you these things and it’s some times near impossible to drown it out.
‘It’s not just a case of that person overthinking and, as a lot of people so commonly assume, it’s not a case of that person being dramatic or selfish. “It” – this demon known as mental health – takes over your mind like the plague, it is life altering. Unfortunately in this case the victim couldn’t drown it out anymore.
‘It’s reminded me to listen to the people around me, even if sometimes it doesn’t feel like many, because they really mean it when they say they care.
‘2. Selfishly, it made me sad for the emergency services. We are here to help people, that is our job. But this call made me really think in depth about staff as well. My colleagues who arrived on scene – they would have seen first hand my callers distress and their partner, now on the floor, dead.
‘It made me angry. It made me angry because my next call was some bloke shouting abuse at me, saying how “shit” we are. “Well then, please, come and sit at my desk for a day and let’s see how “shit” I am then.” I wanted to say. “Go out with one of our units for a day and let’s see how shit they are then shall we?” I wanted to say.
‘But I couldn’t. Because to him and to most people I am just a robot.
‘People in emergency services don’t have feelings!!! Don’t be so silly!!! They don’t get affected by the otherwise traumatic things they deal with!!! Well just to put this into perspective – the person found hanging worked for the emergency services. We are not immune to mental health.
‘I didn’t get round to finishing this, but I don’t know what else to add. But I hope this outlines how vast and evil mental health is and how it does not discriminate; it’ll creep up on anyone.
‘I’m tiring from the, thankfully few, people saying mental health doesn’t exist.
‘I so desperately wish that were the case but take it from me – diagnosed with chronic depression and anxiety, and an emergency services call taker where the majority of calls are mental health related – it really does exist.
‘But please – let this be a reminder that you are not alone, and you shouldn’t be made to feel that suicide is the only option.’
To follow the authors WordPress site, follow this link —> To our international emergency services support group, where you can talk about anything job-related with fellow service men and women, then follow this link —> (the Group is called ‘International Emergency Service Workers Support Network’).
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As someone else with severe depression, this article has really resonated with me. While I have considered suicide, I’m lucky enough to recognise how low the low has got and my doctor’s surgery are great (with this anyway!) and tell me to come along to see my gp and talk, even if it means waiting till the end of surgery hours.
This is something I think anyone considering suicide should read and share the heck out of to anyone with depression – maybe it would make them think again.
Sending big hugs to anyone who has also gone through the op’s situation – and thank you for being there.