HUMANS OF THE HOSPITAL: Rowena Saheb

“I have my own lived experience of suicide. I have friends and family who have had their own suicidal crisis and I have lost friends to suicide.

I have worked in mental health for over a decade and I think life experiences, opportunities and organic pathways almost saw mental health work pick me.

I think that sometimes, people who aren’t doing well and are struggling can really trivialise their issues and think that there are other people that need help more than they do. But if you’re not doing well, it’s so important to get help.

Previously, there was a misconception that if a person tries to take their own life or experiences a suicidal crisis, there must be an underlying mental health issue. However, what we’re realising more and more, is things such as situational distress and other psychosocial stressors, such as losing a loved one, feeling lonely, being bullied at school and life changes like unemployment and experiencing relationship breakdowns can also be the reason someone experiences suicidal thoughts or attempts suicide.

My hope as an R U OK?Day ambassador is that we continue to work toward normalising talking about suicide prevention and getting help when you need it.

If I can share one message, it would be “it’s okay not to be okay” BUT remember you’re not alone.” 

– Rowena Saheb who has worked as a WSLHD Toward Zero Suicides mental health project officer – Safe Haven, SPOT and Zero Suicides in Care initiative for two years.

A Safe Haven is a place you can go if you’re feeling distressed or having suicidal thoughts, or our Suicide Prevention Outreach Teams (SPOT) is a mobile service that can come to you. You can find out more about these services at www.health.nsw.gov.au/towardszerosuicides/Pages/default.aspx or you can contact SPOT by calling the Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511.

‘Humans of the Hospital’ is dedicated to the inspiring humans working at Westmead, Blacktown, Mount Druitt Auburn and Cumberland hospitals in western Sydney.