The many bells to Suicide Prevention indicate that a listening ear is crucial. But talking about suicidal thoughts is unfortunately still a big taboo. Maarten Dallinga wants to change this with his podcast ‘Doordrenkt’, which he made for GGD Zeeland.
“Actually you ‘just’ have to talk about it”, Maarten tells EditieNL. “For a lot of people that is very difficult and I understand that. How do you start and what do you say? People are also afraid to say the wrong thing or even give the last push. But that’s a big myth. You don’t say easily. something wrong. “
Suicide in the Netherlands
Every year around 1800 people commit suicide in the Netherlands. That’s five a day.
Source: CBS / 113 Suicide Prevention
The most important thing is genuine interest and attention. “Don’t ask ‘are you okay?’, But rather ‘how are you?’ You are already making a profit with that. And also look for a time when it is appropriate to talk to each other. A birthday may not be the time. But if you see during that birthday that someone is not doing well, you can also say: ” Gosh, I’d love to talk to you in a quiet moment. Let’s go for a walk or make a call. “
In addition, it is important that you do not judge. “Don’t say, ‘Don’t pretend’ or ‘You can’t do that to those around you.’ People who are suicidal are often very preoccupied with the judgment of others, “says Maarten.
Don’t turn around
What if you don’t dare to ask if someone is struggling with those suicidal thoughts? “In the end, it doesn’t help to keep going around the bush. Even if you have doubts, it is important to ask how the other is doing. You don’t want to regret not asking afterwards. “
In the podcast Maarten talks to three men from Zeeland who tell their story. “I am now used to the podcast to conduct the conversation, but of course I also continue to find it exciting to ask ‘the question’ to people in my own environment. You don’t want the other person to be scared or even offended. But if you show genuine interest, then you cannot easily do anything wrong, I am convinced of that. “
Jeroen Kloet is a psychiatrist and an expert by experience. “I am a patient myself, known with bipolar and anxiety disorder. I call it emotional vulnerability or wobble. I am on medication and have had quite a bit of therapy.”
During work he makes use of his own experiences. “Many care providers do not do this, because it is believed that professional distance should be maintained. And that while it can help many people if care providers also show themselves vulnerable.”
Openness and trust
“The concept is simple: through recognition you get recognition and that is how patients experience it. It gives more openness and trust and therefore they are more at ease. You can connect by making yourself vulnerable.”
The psychiatrist himself has experienced how complicated it is to ask for help when you are dealing with suicidal thoughts. “You can simply be there for these people by starting the conversation. I missed that myself. But I was partly due to myself. Keeping the door so locked. Once I had a good therapist, I experienced how incredibly nice it was to talk about it. “