Tuesday, 23 January 2007

"This woman is trying to kill herself; can you help?"

I'd just had two mixed berry smoothies and a great chat about PR and theology with Brendan (aka Jim) and was walking home, earphones in, ready to listen to some movie reviews.

I saw two people near a park bench. She was doubled over, he was crouched next to her. He waved his hand at me.

Pretending this was normal, I waved back and made as if to carry on. But he must have said something or ... I don't know what, but I took a second look. And took my headphones off.

"Excuse me, this woman is trying to kill herself," said the man, remarkably calm. "Could you call someone?"

Someone. Who the hell do you call?

I dialled 111 while, still disbelieving, I held the phone away from me. A voice. Someone's talking on that phone. Listen.

"Fire, Ambulance or Police?"

Blood. I could see blood.


"Through now."

While the ambulance people asked if she was conscious, breathing or otherwise, I realised this probably wasn't an ambulance case. She was up and about, trying to conceal the blood from the shallow cuts on her wrist. And she was saying no, she didn't want help.

So we got through to the Police. Meanwhile, she wandered away, but as we continued talking with the police, she kept walking back.

While Mark (the man who had first found her) spoke with the police on the phone, I saw her coming, asked her if she was okay, and said we were getting help.

"No," she said, "I don't want help!"

What do you say to that?

"I'm going that way," she said, pointing down the path.

Now why did she say that? And why did she keep coming back?

So she left, and the police asked us to stay near the road so they could meet us. Mark and I got a ride in a police car for about 3 minutes - still exhilirating, even despite the circumstances - and there she was, walking back again.

The cops got out and talked to her, and told us they'd get her the medical help she needed.

I'm so glad Mark and I got to walk and talk after that. We were both just a little bit in shock.

No comments: