John’s Story - Suicide Awareness

John, is 42 and works in IT. For the past few months, John has been feeling really down and he is having constant, arguments with his family. As a result of this he has become isolated, choosing to spend little time with family or friends. John is drinking a lot more than usual as he feels it helps him to cope with his negative feelings and stress. John isn’t getting on well at work either as he feels he gets no support or attention. John is starting to think that the world might be better off without him.

A colleague at work approached John and asked if he was ok, as he had seen that John looked sad and his appearance showed he wasn’t looking after himself. John’s response was “I’m fine” so his colleague went on with his work.

Later that day John drove to a high bridge and contemplated taking his life. Thankfully, a passer-by saw John on the road bridge and phoned the police, who together managed to eventually talk him down.

John was offered counselling and support by Darlington Mind to help him to work through his issues. He has since been able to share his frustrations with a trained and experienced counsellor in a confidential and non-judgemental way.  He has begun to change his thinking and behaviour which has helped him cope and has reduced his conflict at home and at work. These things take time but John is starting to feel better and has a more positive outlook on life.

Suicide can effect anyone at any time, be observant, talk, not every case ends up a near miss like John’s

The Most Important Thing to ask – Are you ok? – Don’t be afraid to talk!

  • Remember the conversation you have with someone could save their life, just asking are you ok? Might be all they need, to start to get help.
  • Sometimes you may have to ask more than once, as people may be defensive to open up, but keep going
  • “You seem down?”
  • “I have noticed you seem more tired than usual?”
  • “Are you alright?”
  • “I am concerned about you, please tell me if you have considered harming yourself”?

Don’t be afraid to ask them directly, using the word suicide, if they see that you are comfortable using the word, this may give them confidence to talk

Help and Support

John was referred on to support at Darlington Mind, things like counselling and accessing some of our therapeutic projects and services can really help to make a positive difference to someone’s life.
If there is an immediate risk to someone’s life please dial 999 or if someone is in mental health crisis please contact the Crisis Team on 0800 0516 171 (24 hours a day, seven days a week)
For further mental well-being support Darlington Mind has lots of other services which may be of interest for you, please contact us
Email: or Tel: 01325 283169 Mobile: 07572 888084 – also see our website

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