There is hope – Continue the conversation on suicide prevention, says Caurel Richards
Unresolved wounds and depression have led individuals from various backgrounds, including social media influencers, entertainers, adults and even children, to tragically end their lives due to the overwhelming challenges and pressures they face. September is recognised as Suicide Prevention Month and though drawing to a close, transformative therapist Caurel Richards is hoping to shed light on this sensitive and sombre topic.
“People don’t end their lives because of other people. They end their lives because they believe it’s their only option; they’re not hopeful for the future. And when you live in a world with so many distractions and you simply can’t quiet the noise internally, you find a way to quiet it permanently,” Richards told Lifestyle.
Pointing to feelings of overwhelm, disappointment and not belonging, she said, sometimes “something doesn’t feel right; something is innately different about them and because this isn’t something they can change, they prefer to just leave.”
Richards practises transformative therapy or rapid transformation, which according to her, is a combination of cognitive behavioural therapy, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) psychotherapy and hypnotherapy. “It’s like they all came together and had a baby,” she said adding, “this type of therapy allows you, the patient, to not only talk about what you have gone through, but to go from an angle that allows you to refrain and release those beliefs that are no longer serving you.”
After becoming certified in 2021, she promptly launched her business, and now, two years of practice have allowed her to work with a diverse range of clients. “At the core, even though we are all different, we are also very similar and we are going through the same struggles. We are all human beings and we are all trying to navigate this life as best as we can with the tools that we have and the tools we can get. It has been a transformative journey for me as well,” she shared.
She encourages loved ones to look out for the signs, including instances of self-harm. Richards points out that suicide may not always be the initial intent. Some individuals may at first, engage in self-harm, which can tragically turn fatal. “One of the signs that someone is in a space of depression which could lead to suicide is when you notice that he or she starts to do extreme things. Self-harm is one of them; cutting or burning. It is a way for them to feel because the depression has been a numbing experience. They harm themselves to feel again,” she highlighted.
Other obvious signs include prolonged isolation. People who once had a passion for things they loved may withdraw from those activities as they imagine life without themselves in it. Richards shared that those affected usually exhibit fatigue, low energy, and noticeable changes in their appetite and weight.
“But that’s the challenge with the symptoms; these factors look like everyday struggles. When others see someone who isn’t as hopeful [as] themselves, has low self esteem or is critical of him or herself, it’s not seen as something alarming because that’s the norm in the world,” she said. “The thing that sets them apart from the average, however, is when these symptoms last for an extended period of time,” Richards continued.
Trauma stunts growth and subconscious beliefs can exert significant influence over one’s life. As a transformative therapist, Richards guides individuals to the root of their issues, whether it has to do with people pleasing tendencies or other sources. Her approach involves helping them to understand and reframe these experiences, especially those that originated from childhood. Through this process, Richards introduces logic into the conversation and empowers individuals to develop new, healthier beliefs based on their own adult knowledge and perspective.
“A lot of people feel alone in this world. It’s important to find your footing and do things your way with persons who listen, understand and are willing to hold space for you. That way, they can feel safe. Rejection isn’t the end, so don’t reject yourself or this valuable experience we call life,” she added.
For those battling suicidal thoughts, Richards says you are not alone in this experience, “We are all battling thought, beliefs and feelings. But there is always hope. Give yourself the chance to find that glimmer of hope. The images you are creating in your mind and the words that you are speaking to yourself have power in how you feel and navigate in this world. So if those thoughts are out of control, start thinking better thoughts. Find that outlet that helps you to release those thoughts, Maybe music or sports is your thing. Get out and move. When you remove yourself from the thoughts of depression, doing something different gives you a different experience and ultimately a different outcome.”
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, call the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ mental health and suicide prevention helpline at 888-NEW-LIFE (639-5433).