Turning a blind eye to suicide

Why are the devastating numbers of death by suicide not making front page and news headlines everywhere, every single day?

How is it that we can know to a degree that this tidal wave of death by suicide is going on all around us, and yet we’re somehow able to escape actually feeling the full magnitude of this dire situation and its crushing impact on so many people’s lives?

At the time of publication of this article it is April 2020. Around the globe countries and their citizens are either under strict Government imposed regulations of lockdown, varying degrees of isolation or new working from home (WFH) mandates; and if we are allowed out of our homes at all our proximity to other people is now designated by strict social distancing rules and measures.

Due to coronavirus and the illness it causes, COVID-19, all around the world we have a new universal language that includes terms such as quarantine, isolation and social distancing, terms that designate required behaviours in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. Without question there has been incredible and monumental global collaboration to achieve this goal, the results of which are yet to be fully seen.

The first known death from the illness caused by the virus was reported on January 11 2020 in China, and as of April 10 there have been just over 95,000 deaths worldwide. If deaths attributed to coronavirus continued at this rate that would be approximately 380,000 by the end of 2020. Understandably such a virus and its spread need to be contained.

The burning question that seems impossible to ignore though is, why do Governments around the world, the global health systems, the media, and the human race collectively and united together, not bring this level of impeccable concern and absolute focus to the worldwide crisis of suicide, which is unquestionably of pandemic proportions at 800,000 deaths per year?

We arc up now at the current enforced social distancing, but in fact we’re allowing it every single day by choosing not to ‘see’ the people around us who have successfully distanced themselves to the point where they can take their own lives.

Is it not until it touches every single one of us directly that we wake up and feel through our own bodies the absolute chill of the reality of what these numbers (people) of death by suicide actually represent – and what it is unquestionably saying about the current state of how people are handling, or rather, not handling life?

And if it takes a direct ‘touch’, what does that ‘touch’ have to feel or look like for us to take a deeper consideration?

  • Does it have to be someone we know directly, or maybe someone who someone we know knows;
  • Could it be that we find out someone we knew from our past took their own life;
  • Might it be that a train line suicide simply delayed our train trip and so we’re ‘forced’ to think about it, or did the fact that our train journey got delayed only cause disturbance because we are now running late and the fact that someone chose to jump in front of a train that day didn’t even enter our thoughts for further contemplation?
  • Or, does it have to be someone we actually love for it to affect us and shock us into seeing the reality of how great an issue death by suicide really is?

And if for any one of us it is the case that we can simply cast this issue to the side, it is well worth examining and bringing understanding to why we do, or why and how we’re able to . . .

We live in a sea of energy and therefore everything we do within this inter-connectedness has consequences for everyone. Challenging as it may be to consider, when any one of us lives ongoingly in any way with disinterest, apathy, ignorance, withdrawal or disconnection within ourselves, we all feel these waves of disturbance; this creates the energetic reservoir we are then surrounded and fed by. When we participate in any of these contracted ways of living – which in fact is the complete antithesis to the true potential that is available to every single one of us and that is, living with connection to and expression from our essence – could it be possible then that we may actually have a part to play in contributing to this issue? For example, we do all know how our mood may affect another, or indeed a whole room full of people, and that’s just the beginning of its infectious spread. With consideration to how difficult this may be and likely is to feel or make sense of, without doubt this question is one that is worth more than a casual or nonchalant consideration or observation.

We need to take every single suicide very seriously and ask the question again and again and again . . . WHY?

And although the answer to the WHY may be what we could term ‘different’ by way of surrounding circumstances for each person as to what in the end pushes someone over the edge to make the choice to take their own life, such as:

  • marriage or relationship breakdown
  • financial stress and hardship
  • feeling alone
  • feeling crazy
  • being lost and out of control with drug or alcohol abuse
  • losing everything through gambling addiction

There can be many ‘reasons’: ultimately though, underneath it all, the true answer to the WHY is the same for every single person who takes their own life through suicide.

And that answer is, disconnection to one’s self.

Disconnection from self leads to contraction, that leads to withdrawal, that leads to isolation, that leads to no commitment to life; disconnection that leads to a sense of life having no meaning or purpose, that left unaddressed and unhealed can lead to being plagued by thoughts of suicide, that can lead to an attempt at suicide, or having success with completing the act of suicide.

If disconnection is the original sore, then any of the above mentioned life crisis scenarios can easily, suitably, and dare we say it, conveniently become the focus for someone to choose suicide, and even more sadly these can also become the focus of the suicide problem, or the focus of the problem with suicide. But is this really addressing the real issue, and in which case are these approaches really making any difference? Evidenced by the alarming and rising numbers of suicides worldwide, the answer has to be and is a Big NO.

"Close to 800,000 people die due to suicide worldwide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds."[1]

And not only is it the numbers of people taking their life, it is also estimated that "to every one adult who dies by suicide there may have been more than 20 others who attempted suicide". . . and this doesn’t even mention those who ‘thought’ about suicide. Nor does it go anywhere near highlighting the fact of how it affects the vast numbers of people who are impacted in their lives by the act of someone else’s suicide or attempted suicide.

We can look at all the ‘band-aids’ in the world to understand the mental health crisis, but as we all know, band-aids only work to protect the sore while a scab heals over it – the scar very often remains. It is the cause of the cut in the first place that needs to be microscopically looked at, rather than trying to come up with more and more ways to simply manage the sore.

Disconnection is a greater issue and more existential than feeling alone or isolated in your life, though it can start out as simply as waking up feeling ‘flat’, living your days without any real focus or purpose, feeling bereft after a break up, being out of control with addiction or totally at a loss through financial burden; it is however deeper than these issues alone, and it is even more separating than the sadness or grief of losing a loved one or a dearly loved pet or your home.

So, what is disconnection . . . and, disconnection from what?

Disconnection at its most precise is the feeling of being disconnected from our very essence, the essence of who we are, our Soul. It is the true qualities and expressions that make each of us a vital and equal part in this experience called life. Our essence, when connected to, informs us of our place here, our responsibility here, and more importantly, our unique part to play here on this earth and in this world – it connects us to the universal vastness of who we truly are that is more than and far beyond simply being human. It is a deep level of connection that embodies with it a knowingness that we are all part of the One Soul.

But we are not really spoken to of what we are here for, nor of our true potential when we enter life. Sure, there are many ways of life that exist that posit to be the way or the answer, and certainly many may hold some valuable keys to living a ‘good’ life, but when we have a situation such that we have right now with suicide numbers alarmingly out of control and constantly on the rise, then we MUST ask what is going on? We MUST ask . . . what are we missing here?

How many in life actually ever truly question what we are here for, or even wonder about what is our true purpose? Or is this question or contemplation avoided for fear of the responsibility that comes with the answer? Interesting question. And the answer is most definitely Yes.

Perhaps ironically but certainly not coincidentally, the responsibility that comes with the answer to these questions IS responsibility. To spell it out more clearly, the answer to the question of what are we truly here for, or what is our true purpose here, is Responsibility.

But responsibility to what may then be the next question in this line of pondering.

  • Responsibility to the all
  • Responsibility to everything that matters, everything that is truly important
  • Responsibility to ourselves, to one another, to loving one another
  • Responsibility to being present in all our relationships
  • Responsibility to being focussed and aware of all of life around us, to not crushing another, to not abusing ourselves or each other, to being true to who we really are and living this in full, to being true to our unique expression, to bringing the magnificence of who we each are to one another
  • Responsibility to being tender and harmless
  • Responsibility to reflecting on our own patterns and behaviour when we hear of another’s cruelty
  • Responsibility to appreciating that we are here to support one another by reflection that there is a more responsible way to live, and ultimately,
  • Responsibility to the fact that we are here to evolve, to love fully, and not just to simply exist or survive

There is so much more to us than meets the eye; there is a Grandness and beauty within every one of us that belongs to something far more expansive than just this realm of life. And deep inside, every one of us knows this.

It seems then almost inconceivable that we could stand by and not absolutely hate the fact of the devastating numbers of death by suicide – right? Well, not really. Because in fact it is the same consciousness or denial of the truth we are surrounded by that has us not really caring about this issue (and many others) that also feeds us to not be aware of the very fact of our essence and greater purpose here – an energy that has us saying, “don’t show me that, I don’t want to know”. This energy or consciousness has us so manipulated and owned by its ‘empty of purpose’, ‘empty of meaning’ life theories, that we are thus, and then able to turn a blind eye and or deny the impact of the very real and escalating situation we currently have with death by suicide.

However, and immeasurably significant and relevant to this topic, what is also a fact is that we are equally and completely held and surrounded 24/7 by the self-empowering energy of responsibility, if we so choose to align to it. It really is a matter of alignment: either we can buy the lie of irresponsibility, or we can live the truth – it really is up to every single one of us which energy we choose to live our life in and with accordance to, in every moment.

The lie sells us struggle and pain, blame and shame, or on the other side of the coin even resilience and winning, success at the expense of others – either which way it sells us individuality in place of brotherhood and Oneness.

The truth on the other hand offers us harmlessness, equality and evolution, with zero identification as an individual, but rather a sense of embodiment that one walks with, in the knowing of what they are contributing by their alignment to the evolution of everyone. It offers us how to truly love.

When we deny wanting to fully realise and feel the numbers of people dying by suicide, this only serves to further confirm (by reflection) the disconnection and desperate state of despair that so many are living with; it is a choice to be and remain blinkered, at all costs wanting to avoid feeling the reality of what is going on in this world. When we deny feeling the reality of the situation of overwhelming numbers of death by suicide, we are by virtue of this actually denying the truth of our responsibility here, thereby and inevitably also denying the truth of our purpose here, which is to evolve.

There is absolutely no evolution in the act of suicide, just as there is absolutely no evolution in denying seeing the greater lessons to be learnt and the healing offered by observing more closely what is going on with everything in life, in every moment.

Evolution is always on offer, if only we would but choose to ask the question of everything that is disharmonious . . . WHY?

If we deny how huge the issue of suicide is and want it to just go away, we are in fact denying and burying our own immense sadness about the state of the world, and in so doing and in this burying, we continue to deny ourselves of the ever-present awareness of the ‘other’ fact – which is that there is a truer way to live: a way to live that knows how to truly support another because of the love we hold ourselves in, a way that is all about connection and responsibility, a way that knows the integrity of what is true and what is not, a way that emanates focus and embodies true purpose that via reflection offers what living with connection looks and feels like – a way of living that is only ever about love and truth.

It is time we asked . . . WHY?


  • [1]

    World Health Organization. Mental health. Suicide data. Retrieved November 2019 from https://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/suicide/suicideprevent/en/

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  • By Annette Baker, Relationship Counsellor

    Annette's love is supporting and confirming people in returning to the truth they already know deep inside. This she does through her own constant and dedicated relationship to understanding and living the greater meaning and purpose to life.

  • Photography: James Tolich