‘I went from training self-murder impediment to being on self-murder watch’

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A self-murder impediment mentor who gifted suicidal thoughts himself was desirous to set adult a website to assistance others in a same position.

James Withey created ‘Recovery Letters’ from those who have been ill before, directed during assisting others in a inlet of depression.

In 2011 he was operative for an obsession gift in Glasgow training amicable caring workers about self-murder prevention, in sold how to mark and yield evident assistance to people feeling suicidal that they competence accommodate in their operative day.

But in Nov that year he fell unequivocally ill with depression.

James unexpected found himself job on a services of a suicidal predicament centre he had been training his clients about usually months earlier.

“I used to contend to people this is something that can occur to us all though observant that and it function to we is a unequivocally opposite thing,” he says.

His basin was done worse by a array of unequivocally stressful events. The categorical one was a fake indictment from a tyro he had been training which, he says, “finally pennyless me completely.”

That was a trigger for him to try suicide. James says “I went from training self-murder impediment to eventually being on self-murder watch, that was only extraordinary.”

No ‘soft option’

James’ source of assistance was The Maytree, a charity-run self-murder remit centre in North London. Maytree offers a free, one-off, four-day stay to people, who are feeling suicidal. The thought is that people are given a event to be listened in confidence, though settlement though with caring and warmth.

He says: “It’s like no other caring I’ve had before for my mental health problems. The banned there is gone. It’s so tough to pronounce to people that adore we about self-murder and wanting to kill yourself.”

And his stay during Maytree altered his life. “One night we felt unequivocally suicidal and wanted to leave; a proffer sat with me for hours, infrequently we talked infrequently we didn’t though he saved my life that night.


Recovery Letters

Lisa’s letter says : “From my knowledge of a Big-D a special things that make we who we are will come back. It is only that a strength, calm and wish we need to wait for them to come behind is accurately what basin takes divided from you. So right now all might feel impossible. we truly know that feeling.”

In another, Paul says; “The destiny is brighter than it looks. How do we know this? Well, we have a oppulance of essay this from scarcely 3 years into your future. Trust me, it’s a improved place.”

BBC Broadcaster Iain Lee has also submitted a minute to a site. It says: ” I’m doing this to uncover that you’re not alone. Although, we gamble we feel unequivocally most like we are, whatever anyone says.”


“The stay was not a mangle from my thoughts, they were still there, it wasn’t an event to forget them; it was by no means a ‘soft option’.

“It was a possibility to tackle a causes of them, that a NHS predicament organisation that we was with weren’t means to provide. This was tough and pathetic though eventually we gained discernment into a causes of my basin and crucially a approach to go on living.”

Maytree non-stop a doors in 2002 after Paddy Bazeley, thereafter a consultant executive for a Samaritans, and businessman and psychotherapist Michael Knight, realised there was a opening in services for people who were feeling suicidal.

They wanted to yield a sanctuary, in a non-medical setting, where people could be befriended by volunteers, where they could pronounce about their suicidal thoughts, be listened to and offering non-judgemental seductiveness and care.

Ten years after a founding, researchers from a University of East London and a Tavistock hospital found that a infancy of guest felt reduction suicidal during their stay and still felt that approach months afterwards, with a poignant series of people describing their Maytree knowledge as “transformational”.

Paul Farmer, arch executive of a mental health charity, Mind, says: “Crisis houses like Maytree yield alternatives and – crucially – offer someone in predicament a choice and some control over how and where they are treated.

“It proves that good predicament caring does exist and a disproportion it can make to people’s lives and recovery.”

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James Withey gifted feelings he had been training others to understanding with

It was while recuperating during Maytree that James had a thought to emanate what he’s now called a Recovery Letters.

“During my depression. we was guided to review lots of books about basin though they were huge, tombstone distance books and we was so indisposed we could hardly collect adult a book.

“What we indispensable was something tiny and personal and that told me we could recover. we indispensable to know it was probable and we realised that what we wanted, we indispensable to create.”

‘Bank of hope’

The letters are created by people recovering, or who have recovered from basin and created to people who might be feeling during their worst.

They are unequivocally personal letters with genuine examples of a lows felt by a writer, though embody a soundness that they got better, and so a reader could too.

The idea, says James, is they “try and assuage some of a pain of depression, to make a loneliness somewhat some-more acceptable and above all to give wish that we can recover.”

James is always looking for some-more letters. He says “New letters are unequivocally positive. A lot of people use a website on a unequivocally unchanging basement so new letters adds to their bank of hope.”

The site has scarcely 50 000 hits a year, and James frequently gets both new letters and messages from people who have pronounced how most a site has helped them.

Paul Farmer of Mind said: “Sharing practice of vital with mental health problems can be impossibly empowering.

“As good as violation down a tarnish that surrounds mental ill health, it can assistance others to feel they aren’t alone and can inspire people to pronounce adult and find assistance themselves.”

James nominated Maytree for a BBC Radio 4 All in a Mind Awards, and it was one of a shortlisted entries in 2014. The awards for 2016 are now open. If we would like to commission an individual, veteran or organisation who has left above and over to assistance we with your mental health problems we can find out how to enter them for a 2016 awards here.

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