One of the final hurdles I crossed in convincing myself that I should just end it all, was that of how those I left behind would cope. If you have even been down the road towards suicide you will have had this thought I’m sure and it can often be the only thing that stops you. I, in my rather rationally confused state formed the opinion that were I to die in an accident they would mourn me and move on, therefore if I was to take my own life they would do the same. Now I know this is a very simplistic and very wrong view to take but it has recently let me to think about what would happen if I was in an accident.
Now I am aware that I have a medical condition that has no visible physical indicators, and should I be in an accident knowing I have an illness and am on medication might be valuable knowledge to the emergency services in saving my life. I am also aware that while I have fairly good control at the moment if I was to crash again like last time, my history would be valuable to those dealing with me. I have also been having a Twitter conversation with someone who is a PTSD sufferer and advocate who is very interested in highlighting the problems mental health sufferers can have when being dealt with by the Police.
The thought came to me that some people who have medical conditions wear medical alert bracelets or necklaces to identify their illness such as diabetics, people with allergies etc and I wondered if they did them for mental health sufferers. Whilst having a quick search for them not only did I find lots of them but I also found a Guardian article (link included below) about an MP who had suggested that maybe mental health sufferers should wear coloured bracelets to identify their illness. Now this seemed to have caused a massive backlash against this MP with people saying that the stigma of mental health was bad enough without openly identifying the illness for all to see. Now at the moment I am wearing two of the common rubber wristbands, one for Help for heroes and one Live 4 2 Day L42D.
Now a quick look on Amazon and I found loads of these bracelets and wristbands, all shapes styles and even ones with USB sticks built-in but the one that caught my eye was this one (pictured). It comes in a variety of colours and as you can see it clearly identifies itself as a medical alert bracelet and rather interestingly the information is contained on the inside therefore keeping the information private. Now I don’t know how things work but I know I have an NHS number and my information should be available to the emergency services so I may not even need to put specific details on there. Though mine would likely read: David Leader, Depression/Anxiety, On medication NHS No 123456789 CAVMHT 01446 999999 etc, or even David Leader Depression/ Anxiety EMS Contact : 01445 123456 Med Card In Wallet. Either way anyone finding me would be able to obtain vital information that could well save my life or identify me as a person at risk and help get me the help I require quickly. I know I am one of the lucky ones, there are people out the whose illness is very severe and their symptoms can be extremely distressing to themselves and others. Often these symptoms are often attributed to anti social behaviour and treated as such. Early identification of someone with a mental health illness can change the whole outcome of how that person is dealt with one would hope.
So whilst I can understand people not wanting to be singled out I do feel that the idea is a good one and that possibly the backlash faced by the MP might have had more to do with her political affiliation that the idea itself. This kind of social media bandwagon justice is a growing problem, whilst I respect every bodies right to have their own beliefs I also expect them to express them in a respectful manner if they feel the need to do so. Just recently I have seen an example on Twitter where a rational question was soon a debate, that escalated quickly into some quite nasty comments, almost bullying. I guess sometimes people are too quick to follow the herd rather than form their own opinion. I have and I have shared it with you, you may agree or disagree but that is the essence of communication.
Below are the links to the Guardian article in question and the link to Amazon for the pictured bracelet above