Rak Nathwani is a Wellness Hub Patient Advisor at Corby Urgent Care Centre. The Wellness Hub offers a drop-in service to support people experiencing non physical healthcare needs. As a Patient Advisor, Rak speaks to many different people at the Wellness Hub and has a wealth of experience in helping people with a variety of needs. To mark World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September, Rak has shared his thoughts on this year’s theme: ‘Creating Hope Through Action’.
‘Creating Hope Through Action’ is a great place to start conversations. People often get caught up in their own head space, feeling that they can’t or don’t want to talk to family or friends. Reasons and rationale vary, sometimes they don’t want to burden others with their troubles, but all too often this reluctance stems from a belief that others will not understand, or worse still, judge them in some way.
Then there is the ‘time’ consideration. The thing about having too much time on your hands, without a positive outcome or goal to focus on, is that it’s all too easy to dwell on negative thoughts, to overthink and overanalyse things to be rather critical of your own abilities or shortcomings. Then the rollercoaster of emotion really begins and unhelpful thoughts seem to mushroom as more time and energy is converted into an all-pervasive low mood. In turn, this feeds anxiety and panic; feeling lost, out of control, like an imposter and like a shell of their former self are all terms I have come across and heard in my work dealing with the issues that arise when mental health resilience is eroded over time. It is often a long, slow and drawn-out process – a ‘drip, drip, drain’ effect, if you will.
So how can we create hope through action?
Raising awareness is the key. The fact that you have taken the time to read this means that you care. What can you do to raise awareness towards this very worthy cause? There are many campaigns that have been run throughout the years. A great way to make a contribution is to strike up a conversation; to really look and see the people all around you on a daily basis. How often do people just glide by, lost in their own thoughts or lost in the device clutched in their hands? How often do you really notice them or what is going on in their lives – the highs but also the lows?
It’s about asking that all-important question: “how are you?” Yes, invariably so many people wear that mask and will reply without too much thought – “I’m OK,” or “I’m fine,” or “Not too bad.” It’s about asking that question again and being prepared to wait for – and listen to – the answer.
“How are you really?”
All too often people use this question as a greeting and have already started to think about other things or even walk off before they get a proper answer, which can lead to frustration and exacerbate feelings of low self-esteem and worthlessness. How often do we take time to actually SEE people, to take in the body language and notice signs that somebody is not OK, needs help, is struggling or is in pain? Even if we see that, what can we do about it? What are we prepared to do about it? Also try this from a different perspective. How many of you would know what to do and where to turn if somebody – a friend, a colleague, a complete stranger – tells you that they are feeling suicidal, or that today might be the day? If you have never considered the possibility, that message is definitely going to throw you a massive curveball. Yes, you may be able to think on your feet and may even salvage the situation, but do you really want to leave it to chance?
So maybe now is the time to think about it. What would you say in response? Do a bit of research on who to call, what mental health and crisis support services are available in your local area. Know where to find the numbers for them. One day, you might just need to make that timely call for support whilst you hold it together for you and the person in front of you, until help arrives. At the Corby Urgent Care Centre Wellness Hub, myself and my colleague Eleanor work as Patient Advisors and we make ourselves as available as we possibly can. We are happy to listen, support and signpost to specialist support or even the Crisis Pathway as necessary for anyone who feels stuck in their thinking and feels that they are running out of options. Often showing someone a different perspective is all it takes to light up a myriad of other options, things that the individual just couldn’t see before our conversation.
If you need help – whether it’s for you or for someone else – you can reach out to us on 01536 202121 and ask to be put through to the Wellness Hub. Making that contact and initiating that conversation is the first step to a better outcome.
Corby Urgent Care Centre is located at Cottingham Road, Corby, NN17 2UR.
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