“.. when Kelly Hayes from Oxford Hayes NHS Foundation Trust took over my care, I was at rock bottom,” according to Susan Hemming, writing in the patient view column in the Nursing Standard (subscription required to access article).

Susan has experienced mental health issues for all of her adult life, and at the time that community psychiatric nurse Kelly Hayes took over her care, she was suicidal and self-harming.

But Kelly encouraged Susan to follow her dreams of becoming an occupational therapist, and supported her while she studied intensively for a local college access course, enabling her to re-sit the examination despite being distraught about failing the first time.

Susan Hemming is now at university, studying occupational therapy.

“Kelly took a chance and believed in me,” Susan says. “Every time I was ready to give up on life, she convinced me that life hadn’t given up on me and neither had she.”

If you are worried about self-harming or being suicidal, or you are worried about someone else, please do have a look at some of the resources to help and support you:

  • Samaritans are there to listen 24 hours, and in 2016, their number is free to call: 116 123
  • Stay Alive app: free to download, and something that you can have close to you on your mobile phone
  • Papyrus: a charity dedicated to prevention of suicide in young people, including a telephone support line
  • Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM): specific advice for preventing male suicide
  • Guide for parents and carers worried about their child’s self-harm
  • MindEd for Families: online support and advice for anyone worried about their child being in crisis
  • Are they ok? A list of the many resources available for anyone worried about a child or a young person