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This gay guy has lived through suicidal thoughts, and now he's helping others

'If you get people talking, the stigma will disappear'

This gay guy has lived through suicidal thoughts, and now he's helping others
Twitter/Davey Shields
Davey Shields opens up about surviving suicidal thoughts

Imagine what it’s like to have a voice inside your head that wants you to die by suicide, it’s perhaps the most scariest thing in the world.

Davey Shields, a 34-year-old gay guy who lives in Brighton, suffers from depression, anxiety and panic attacks.

For World Mental Health Day, the freelance TV producer is revealing how he has survived living with suicidal thoughts and how he wants to help others.

‘I had a few months where it was apparent to many people that I was not coping,’ he told Gay Star News, talking about an incident in August 2016.

Started thinking suicidal thoughts

‘I had started doing what we call suicidal ideation, when you think about your suicide a lot.’

He said he had been depressed a lot in the past but had never considered killing himself before.

‘It was my friend’s 30th birthday and it was a fancy dress party so I made the best costume I’d ever done,’ Shields said.

‘I had an exact replica outfit of Olivia Newton-John in the Physical video…I had a great night, I was the life of the party.’

But then when Shields tried to talk to somebody about his mental health, they said the worst thing.

‘I said I was worried about committing suicide,’ he added.

‘This person for their own reason didn’t have the capability of being able to help, and couldn’t say it wasn’t for me.

‘Very calmly I made the connection of “OK, well, actually for everyone it would be better if I didn’t say around”.

‘I remember leaving the party really calmly, walked all the way home in my ridiculous outfit, and was ready to do the deed.’

But he didn’t. Shields’ housemate was supposed to be out, but he had stayed in.

The next day, Shields spoke to his doctor and had told friends how bad his mental health was.

‘I’ve been close to that feeling once or twice since,’ Shields admits, ‘It’s always been quite scary.’

Ending stigma of mental health

For Shields now, he wants to end the stigma of talking about mental health.

With Damian Friel, who you might recognize from our support series about living with Tourette’s, they make the MenTalk Health podcast. .

‘People really need serious help and just by talking we can maybe alleviate some of that,’ Shields added.

‘It’s not going to solve everything, but just normalizing the conversation and finding humor in the conversation.

‘It’s just to get more people talking and hopefully the stigma will disappear.’

If you are considering suicide or struggling with your mental health, please seek help. In the UK, you can call Samaritans on 116 123. In the US, you can call Trevor Project on 866 488 7386. A list of helplines and organizations worldwide is available here.

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