+356 9901 3629


Are you feeling suicidal?

In 2008, Jonny Benjamin, at age 20, stood on Waterloo Bridge about to jump to his death when a stranger, Mike, stopped to speak to him. Jonny clearly remembers Mike’s words – ‘It’ll get better mate. You’ll get better’, after which Mike asked him to step back from the bridge and invited him to go for a coffee and a chat. Passers-by who’d seen Jonny at the bridge called emergency services in the meantime and Jonny, on stepping away from the bridge, was taken to hospital. On that day 12 years ago, Jonny had been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, a combination of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. He felt he had no future and no chance of ever being happy. 12 years later, Jonny is a mental health campaigner, has founded his own mental health charity, launched ThinkWell, a mental health programme for schools in the UK, published 2 books and produced documentaries about mental health.

According to figures from the World Health Organisation (WHO), 800,000 people die by suicide per year. In addition, there are more than another 20 suicide attempts per completed suicide. Suicide is a topic with a great deal of shame and stigma attached to it, and one which is often misunderstood. As a therapist, I often feel quite disappointed when I hear people say – ‘He had everything. Why would be do that?’, or ‘Suicide is selfish’. Such statements minimise the intense pain and suffering experienced by people who attempt or die by suicide and reinforce the isolation and lack of understanding often experienced by those who feel their only option is to die.

People often contemplate suicide for a number of complex and interacting factors. A number of these are:

  • Depression
  • Psychiatric disorders – schizophrenia, bipolar disorder etc
  • Substance abuse
  • Addiction – alcohol, drugs, gambling etc
  • Chronic physical pain
  • Family history of suicide
  • Stressful life events – homelessness, abuse, job loss, loss of relationship, bullying
  • Extreme sense of hopelessness and despair
  • Not seeing the way out of a problem or situation

For anyone who may be experiencing any of the above and thinking of ending their life, I’d like to share some thoughts with you about this:

Suicide may seem the only option now. Time may prove otherwise.

Intense pain, both emotional and physical, can distort our thinking, making it hard to see other options and solutions. Without minimising the severity of what you’re experiencing, I’d like to reassure you that there are other options and there is a way out of your pain.

What may seem hopeless and insurmountable can be managed somehow

Mental health conditions, such as depression, schizophrenia, and so on, can be treated. Finding the right combination of support and a treatment plan which works for you takes time, however. This would involve changes in lifestyle (adequate sleep, exercise, nutrition), as well as the right combination of medication, psychotherapy and social support. With the help of professionals, such as a psychiatrist and psychotherapist, this process will be smoother and provide you with the support you need until you find what works for you.

Suicidal crises are often temporary

As the popular phrase goes, ‘Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem’. I once had a client who’d just lost his job, was in the process of separation and dreaded not seeing his children daily. On one particularly grim evening he contemplated taking his own life. 2 months later he was offered an excellent job and, although the separation still took place, he managed to start a new life and have regular contact with his kids. There may be moments in life when it seems like everything is hopeless but solutions can be found, unexpected things happen and dark days do turn brighter.

If you’re having suicidal thoughts, take these steps:

Wait it out

It’s important to create some distance between thoughts and action. Make a decision to wait 24 hours, or a week, and see how you feel after that. Chances are that the intensity to act will subside, giving you time to take alternative steps.

Remove anything which could pose a risk

Get rid of any knives, blades, medication or anything which could be used to harm yourself. If need be, ask to stay with someone so you won’t be alone.

Avoid drugs and alcohol

Non-prescription drugs and alcohol can distort your thinking and cause you to take actions you normally wouldn’t. If you can remove these from your home, you’ll avoid placing yourself at increased risk of harm.

Reach out

Don’t keep your suicidal thoughts to yourself. Is there someone you trust, such as a friend or a family member? Call or message them and tell them you’re thinking of attempting suicide. If you don’t have anyone you trust, there are a number of emergency helplines you could contact – 179, kellimni.com. It’s also important you seek professional help. If you can’t afford private psychotherapy, a number of organisations provide affordable mental health support.

For anyone contemplating suicide, please remember that there is support out there. Trust that these feelings will pass and that whatever you’re going through can be overcome.

Danjela Falzon - Malta therapy clinic

About Danjela Falzon

Danjela has been practising as a Psychotherapist since 2011, having read for a BSc in Psychology at Birkbeck, University of London, followed by a Masters in Gestalt Psychotherapy at GPTIM. She works therapeutically with individuals, adopting an approach which is warm and empathic, yet direct and challenging when necessary. She also works with groups, teaching mindfulness and providing support and guidance to reduce stress and anxiety.

TherapyPacks Terms and Conditions

1. TherapyPacks come in bundles of 5 or 10 sessions. Prices of bundles:

  • 5 sessions – €270 – must be utilised within 3 months from date of purchase
  • 10 sessions – €520 – must be utilised within 6 months from date of purchase

2. Bundles are not transferable. This means they cannot be used by, or gifted to, anyone else but the person whose name is listed as the TherapyPacks bundle holder.

3. Bundles which are purchased for Couples Therapy and Family Therapy can only be used by members of the couple or family with one therapist. If members of a couple or family decide to take up individual therapy with another therapist, the bundle will only apply to sessions with the therapist originally referred and cannot be also used for the individual sessions with another therapist. Exceptions will be made if the original therapist is unable to see the client or family and the couple or family are referred to another therapist. After referral, the same conditions will apply.

4. Bundles are valid for a limited time period, as listed above. This means that the bundles will expire once the respective time period has elapsed. Any sessions not utilised within this period will be lost. This means that a refund will not be given for unused sessions. Start date commences on date of purchase of bundles.

5. Bundles are only valid for full price sessions (charged at €60) and not for sessions with trainee psychotherapists, reports or assessments.

6. Full payment needs to be made on purchase, via bank transfer, cash or credit card.

7. Management reserves the right to terminate or suspend the use of the bundles. Reasons for such are at the discretion of the clinic.

8. Refunds or extensions of time period within which bundles may be used is at the discretion of management and will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.

9. Management reserves the right to modify or replace the terms and conditions. In such circumstances, clients will be given adequate notice and time to adhere to such.

10. The clinic’s cancellation policy is applicable also to bundles. Late cancellations or no shows will result in the forfeit of a session within the bundle allocation.

11. Responsibility for ensuring timely use of session bundles remains that of the TherapyPacks bundle holder or, in the case of a minor, their carer/legal guardian.