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Maybe I Could Have Done More As Your Counsellor

by A.
(UK)

Dear (J)... I am not sure exactly and specifically what I wish to apologise for because in the situation so much was not in my control and was within your control when you took your own life.

As a counsellor I knew the risk was there of you taking your life and I took the risk of trying to help you.

Maybe I had a false sense of confidence in myself and you.

I am not sure if I over estimated what you could achieve through your short number of sessions, whether I should have referred you on or whether I could have done better.

I know there are things I could have done better but also know these may not have made a difference.

Only you will truly know whether I should have broken confidence or referred you on. I am apologising in case I should have done more to help you.

It was some time ago now and as a legacy to you please know I have worked with a number of other people in distress and know that I have helped them - I so wish you had survived what you were going through … you had so many possibilities ahead of you and I wish I had spent a bit more time looking at these and your reasons to live.

So if this had of helped enough people to make a difference I apologise for not directing this in our conversation.

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Counsellors and Therapists
by: Anon

As therapists and counsellors we can only do as well as we know how to do at the time.

Evaluating our patients to the best of our ability, consulting with other professionals within the mental health field, etc. is all we can do.

Sometimes things take an unexpected turn that we would have never predicted. It is hard to process and accept when that unexpected turn is a patient taking their own life.

We are only human and suicide leaves us all with so many unanswered questions whether we are close to the person, they're an acquaintance, or we're treating them on a professional basis.

The most we can ask of ourselves is to honor the life, support those we can, learn from the experience and recognize suicidal behavior.

Finally a PSA for those dealing with a friend or family who seems like they may do harm to themselves or for those that may be suicidal.

There are ways that you can make them or yourself feel better and cope.

Always remember, you are not alone. Start by talking to someone, a family member or friend that you feel you can trust. And always remember that there are crisis lines across the globe.

In the United States call the Suicide Prevention Hotline 24/7 1-800-273-8255

In the UK call the National Suicide Prevention Helpline UK 24/7 0800 689 5652

In Canada the Suicide Prevention Service at 833-456-4566.

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