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Falmai’s story

Dr Falmai reached her lowest point after going through a marriage breakdown and becoming isolated.

“Suicide isn’t the solution to any problem.”

That’s the view of Doctor Falmai, from Bury, who has previously had suicidal thoughts.

It was more than 35 years ago that, feeling isolated and alone, Falmai spiralled to her lowest point. She’d gone through a marriage breakdown and could not contact a close friend.

Not knowing how to confidently reach out, Falmai wrote letters to her closest friend but received no response.

“I’d sent letters to my friend, but heard nothing,” she said. “I didn’t know the letters hadn’t arrived. And I decided that I just couldn’t cope with the unhappiness.

“I thought I was doing everyone a favour if I killed myself. I decided that, by Friday, if I hadn’t heard from him, I was going to take my own life.”

Falmai received a call on the Thursday to say the letters had gone to the wrong address and that her friend hadn’t received them.

“It was a huge moment,” she said. “It was loss of contact with people that had made me spiral and all of a sudden I’d been contacted and given hope.

“Looking back I don’t know what I was thinking, my children were 15 and 17. If I’d reached Friday I would have done something that would have ruined their lives and so many other people’s lives.”

Falmai has now been happily married for 30 years and is convinced that suicide is completely misunderstood.

“Because people choose not to think about this elephant in the room, it’s become ok not to talk about it,” she said. “It’s not ok, however, because people are dying.

“People are frightened of talking about it, because they think, wrongly, that if you ask the question, you might actually trigger suicidal thoughts and suicide. But it actually encourages people to open up.”

“People don’t understand the psychology of what they should do, so, with best intentions, they do nothing.

“The #shiningalightonsuicide campaign is definitely setting us on the right track. It’s so important to shine a light and to normalise the conversation.

“I think we can all talk about it, and to children too, and then educate across the board.

“Suicide isn’t the solution to any problem”

“We need to listen – and to hold people’s hands. Human touch is so important because people feel they’re on their own and nobody cares. But lots of people care. That’s why I’m here talking about it.”

Falmai is supporting the ‘Shining A Light On Suicide’ campaign, which has been commissioned by Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership to take the sensitive subject of suicide out of the dark and encourage everyone to talk about it in an honest, open and direct way, so no one sees suicide as a solution to their problems.

Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 49, women aged between 20 and 34 and is the leading cause of death in people aged 15 to 29.

Statistics show that men in the main, who have died by suicide, did not ask for help or speak to someone before they took their life.

The #shiningalightonsuicide campaign will encourage people to talk about suicide in an honest and open way so no one feels it is a solution to their problems.

Together we can help prevent suicide. Suicide affects us all. Encourage someone to talk before suicide seems their only option.

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