+356 9901 3629


Most of my clients do not want to complete suicide

Continue Your StoryMost of my clients do not want to complete suicide. Some of them contemplate death because they see dying as a way out – an escape from the anguish of living with a mental health condition or a difficult life situation. I’ve had clients tell me “I wish that I can sleep through all of this and wake up when everything is OK”. The wish here is not to stop experiencing life in its’ entirety, but to rest and come to experience a life that is more serene and joyful.

Suicidal ideas present themselves when a person feels that they have tried everything in their power to feel better, but don’t. What I’ve learnt in my years of working with people who have suicidal thoughts is that human beings have a tendency to use the same mechanisms of support, many times over, in order to ease their discomfort. This can include smoking, drinking, going on holiday, calling a friend, overeating or taking medication. Whatever it is, our method of choice is usually the one that is the most successful in providing us with effective relief from emotional pain. But life throws a number of different curve balls at us and using the same method of comforting ourselves when facing different life problems is like using a bandage to treat both a sprained ankle and a toothache. We need more supplies in our first aid box! This is what I support my clients to do in therapy. That, and to offer hope when life turns into a seemingly never-ending journey of emptiness and despair.

It is important to mention that depression is a major contributor to suicide deaths, which number close to 800,000 per year [globally] (World Health Organisation, 2017). The percentage of people battling depressive disorders in Malta was estimated to be 5.1% in 2015; over 22,000 people on our tiny island (World Health Organisation, 2017). Depression is a word that has now become part of social discourse thanks to awareness campaigns, social media and numerous celebrities who have spoken out about their experience of it. Having said this, I find that this condition is still not fully understood and the label overused. This is a problem, particularly for people experiencing depression.

Train TracksIt is helpful to know that apart from the low mood, changes in appetite, sleep disturbance and irritability, people who are depressed are struck by feelings of worthlessness. We feel guilty for not performing as well as we used to at work, for not being good enough parents and for not having the energy to complete everyday tasks, like meeting friends, showering or getting out of bed. We judge ourselves for being lazy and inept at a time when what we need most is to replenish energy stores and find the will to live. What most people don’t realise is that these feelings of guilt and helplessness are a symptom of the condition and not a realistic account of who you are as a person. That type of reasoning is the same as saying that you will never able to walk again because you recently broke your leg.

When we are feeling our worst, we need to remind ourselves that depression is not permanent, but suicide is. Promoting help-seeking behaviour is our challenge as professionals and our responsibility as community members. The way we talk about depression and suicide, even in passing, can determine whether someone will reach out for help or not, particularly in the case of men, who account for 88% of suicide cases in Malta (Bonnici, 2018). In fact, research suggests that men are about four times more likely than women to die from suicide (CDC, 2013), however, women are more likely to express suicidal thoughts and to make nonfatal attempts than men (SAMHSA, 2013).

Your support can change lives and save lives. So “if you’re in difficulty, never be afraid to ask for help. There’s no shame in doing so. The only shame is missing out on life” (Johnstone, 2012)


Bonnici, J. (2018, February). Why do men account for 88% of suicides in Malta.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [Online] (2013). National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC (producer).

Johnstone, M. [World Health Organisation] (2012, October 12). I had a black dog, his name was depression [Video File].

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Findings, NSDUH Series H-49, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4887. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services.

World Health Organisation (2017). Suicide – Our World in Data.

Charlene Camilleri Duca

About Charlene Camilleri Duca

Charlene graduated with a Bachelor of Psychology (Hons) in 2008, then went on to read for a Masters in Clinical Psychology at the University of Malta and a post-graduate diploma in Gestalt Psychotherapy with G.P.T.I.M. She has been practising for the last 10 years and is particularly interested in supporting people who are struggling with symptoms of depression and anxiety, including those experiencing generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder and phobias.

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.