Recently we were contacted by a member of the Grassroots Community who wanted to share with us their recent experience in the hope that it will go on to help another. We really appreciate the time, strength and effort that has gone into this piece. ❤️ Grassroots
I’ve had mental health problems for a long time, but recently I was put under a 136 section by the police. This was a terrifying experience and I had to stay with the police for 5 hours until I could go to a 136 suite (a place of safety). One police officer was really understanding and used all the correct terminology around suicide and we talked about lots of things, including our top five films!
When I got to the place of safety around 1am, after the suicide attempt at 17:30, I quickly realised it wasn’t going to be the place of safety I imagined. It was like a soft room, nothing but a squishy bed, blanket and pillow. I had to be searched and had to strip out of my clothes and wear their pyjamas, it felt so degrading being alone without any of my possessions- not even my clothes. All I was allowed was my phone. Although it wasn’t how I imagined I was pleased not to be in a police cell, which I know they are trying to avoid and use as a last resort. I had access to trained mental health professionals all throughout my time there which I really appreciated.
The night was very difficult, I was scared, alone but because I was allowed my phone I had some contact with friends.
7am came around and I finally met a very nice mental health worker who had come to monitor me, we chatted for the hour he was there, and it was so relieving to finally get some human interaction and kindness. We didn’t even talk about mental health, we just had a nice chat and I realised that really the most important thing is talking.
You don’t have to talk about what’s going on emotionally, you can just talk and it helps especially if you’re feeling alone. The only way I got through my 136 section was chatting to the staff monitoring me when I could. I know it was only 24 hours but it felt like forever, I was so desperate to go home.
Eventually I got home and I looked for resources to help me, now that I knew talking was helpful for me I wanted to carry on getting better and talking more. I decided to use the stay alive app made by grassroots, it’s good because it’s got loads of different resources and numbers you can ring like the Samaritans. It’s so useful having it all in one place; even things like being able to put pictures in what they call a life box. I’d really recommend it to anyone with mental health problems, it can’t hurt to have a look.
If you or someone you know are having thoughts of suicide please see below the instructions of what you can do.
If you are thinking about suicide or worried about someone, please visit our Find Help Now section.