World Mental Health Day: 10 October 2019
I am worth more than the things that are upsetting me
We marked World Mental Health Day on Thursday 10 October. This year the theme set by the World Federation for Mental Health was suicide prevention.
We invited people to take part in an activity to create realistic coping statements to help people pass safely through the experience of suicidal thoughts. Repeatedly seeing, saying, or thinking your coping statements can provide a good counterpoint to suicidal thinking. It can also gradually train your mind to take a more realistic path. Using this strategy reinforces the value of talking to yourself with kindness.
These are not to be confused with positive affirmations which can actually be harmful when coping with thoughts of suicide. Often times, if you are feeling unhappy with yourself or your life, telling yourself that you are happy may only make the negative thoughts worse. It is often unhelpful to try and convince yourself that life is great when it feels unbearable.
Instead, coping statements allow you to tell yourself something realistic that you can believe in. It can really help if you create your own, but here are some of the statements we developed from the activity. Thanks to everyone who took part.
“I shouldn’t believe everything I think”
“I can keep going :-)”
“I will recognise all I have survived already”
“I am stronger than I believe”
“I will try to remember that other people experience this too”
“There are people who will empathise with how I feel”
“I could try a peer support group”
“I will try to remember that tomorrow is a new day”
“I am worth more than the things that are upsetting me”
“I have been strong before and I can be strong now”
“There is every chance tomorrow will be better than today”
“That is my depression talking, not me”
“I will try to focus on the here and now”
“I won’t let what happened yesterday take up too much of today”
“I will try to remember that life is constantly changing”
“I will try to take care of myself”
“I may get a helping hand in time”
“I will try to believe that life can get better, it has got better for other people, there is no reason it can’t for me”
“I recognise life can be so tough, but also that things change”
“I will try and take one day at a time”
“I have been to this dark place before and I need to remember that I can come through this again”
“There are other ways to end the pain I am feeling”
“I will try to be aware that my thoughts are not facts”
“I am not my thoughts”