Don’t be a stranger to someone suffering from stress

Ross Sexton2In day-to-day life we all encounter what we think to be stress at one point or another. It can be the smallest or the biggest thing that triggers it and what might be something stressful to you may be something silly to others. But how would you know if you were never given the chance to talk about it?

This week, in the last of our Stress Awareness month blogs, reception team member Ross Sexton talks about the dark-side of stress and how little things really can make a difference.

“I wanted to share an eye opening story that once had a real impact on my life. It wasn’t a case of me being a hero but a case of ‘right place right time’ and making that choice of wanting to help.
Back in February 2012, after what I believed was a ‘stressful’ day at work, I decided to go straight for a beer with my friends and let-off some steam. We sat and discussed all the ‘stressful’ things going on in our lives at that time, like having to listen to the people at work talk about this, that and the other.

After staying at the pub for no longer than an hour I was ready for home. On this particular evening I decided to walk a different way home, I have no idea why, but for whatever reason it was lucky I did. I was walking up the road when I heard some heavy breathing and a man calling for desperate help very faintly. I tried to work out where it was coming from and managed to locate a dark, closed-off garage.

Numerous things ran through my head: was I about to be ambushed? Was it just someone messing around? Do I just walk away and not get involved? But I decided to take the plunge and go for it. I had 999 ready on my phone and took a step in before my heart sunk. There in front of me was a young guy aged approximately 25 hanging from a noose in a garage. I rushed to him and propped him up on my shoulders to take the weight-off his neck and was stood on my tip toes to give him as much air as he could possibly take. The young lad in question had decided that life had all got too much and he felt he had nowhere to turn. He had no one to talk to. This man was alone.

This young lad, who had his whole life ahead of him, had just split-up with his girlfriend, had been to see his gran who lives next door to this garage to tell her he loves her before attempting to take his own life. He told me everything while hanging on for dear life to these wooden beams while laid across my shoulders. This guy had so much going on in his head and with no-one to turn to it all became too much. After several minutes the police and ambulance turned-up. I’d been trying to reassure him that everything was going to be okay and taking in everything that this man clearly wanted to tell someone. Anyone.

The emergency services got him down, took him off my shoulders and went to place him in the back of the ambulance. Before he left, he wrapped his arms around me and thanked me for saving his life. This guy got everything off his chest and couldn’t be more grateful. With help from others he’s now back on the right track after having counselling and people to talk to and listen to him.

After all of what this gentleman had gone through, he was extremely thankful that I could be of assistance. I received a letter from the police days later stating that if I hadn’t have stepped in, after being reviewed by the hospital, this man would have certainly passed away. To think if I’d decided to just keep walking and ‘not get involved’ because ‘it’s none of my business’, which are phrases we are all too familiar with in modern day society, the outcome would have been much different.

The message I want to get across to people is that you can help. You can make a difference. No one is expecting you to swing from webs or fly through the sky but say hello to someone in the street, smile at someone on the tube, talk to someone if you feel they need your help because you could just make someone’s day. Stress IS something that we will all deal with at certain points in our lives but when dealt with in the right way the situation can be resolved. Stop and take the time to help as what you see on the outside isn’t always a clear reflection on the inside. Don’t be a stranger to someone suffering from stress because those suffering with stress already feel like a stranger.”

Ross Sexton Reception Supervisor at Mitie Client Services.

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