After attempting to take her own life, Fran ran away from hospital and got on a train. A stranger approached Fran and chatted to her for an hour, giving her the time and space to talk. The woman’s kindness and patience saved Fran’s life by interrupting her suicidal thoughts, and set her on a path to recovery.
"I was in A&E after a suicide attempt and I managed to run away and got a train to central London. I had no shoes or a jumper on. I was in a dark place and was experiencing suicidal thoughts. Once I was in London, I sat inside for a bit to think. A woman came up to me and talked to me for an hour, sharing her story about a friend of hers. She bought me some water and she listened to me. Eventually, I decided to get back on a train to where I lived, instead of choosing to end my life. If it wasn’t for her, I probably would have acted on my thoughts. I am forever grateful.
"In the moment, it felt nice to know that someone cared and took time out of their day to check if I was OK. The woman even offered to accompany me to the local hospital and stay with me, so I could be seen by the mental health team.
"I think it's important for people to feel able to talk to someone who looks like they might be in distress, because just a small conversation can be all it takes to distract the individual's thoughts. It can make that individual feel like they are listened to, and that people care."
Just a simple smile and opening a small conversation, such as asking how they are and if they are OK, can make all the difference.