Is suicide on your mind?

Apr 09, 2020

You may think that, as a Chartered Accountant, you should be strong, resilient, and able to solve problems. This is not necessarily true.  You are just as vulnerable as anyone else to the tsunami of apprehension that may be coming at you from all points of your personal compass – from clients, employer, business partners, spouse, elderly family members, children, friends and colleagues.  There are now so many uncertainties about health, finance, fitness, home, diet, sleep and relationships to cope with.

You may be strong and grounded and able to cope and you may be able to offer support to others at this moment in time.  Or you may be struggling. You may have a friend, a client, a relative or a colleague who tells you that s/he is considering suicide.   Or you may be so unable to cope yourself that you are considering self-harm, suicide.  Let us consider first who might consider suicide.

Who might consider suicide?


Any of us, including you, might think of suicide as a means of dealing with an overwhelming situation.  Generally, suicide is considered when there is a significant imbalance between our risk factors and our protective factors.

We all vary, and the list of risk factors is extensive, but your risk factors might include any combination of:

  • A recent bereavement
  • Bullying
  • Serious financial problems
  • A history of depression, schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, depression, or drug abuse
  • A family history of suicidal behaviour or mental disorders
  • A traumatic event
  • Diagnosis with a possibly terminal illness or condition
  • Relationship breakdown
  • Isolation
  • A personality disorder

 Your protective factors might include:

  • Your Relationships
  • Social integration
  • Good network
  • Religious beliefs and practices
  • Access to support agencies
  • Your Personal resilience

If you are thinking of suicide?


  1. Take such thoughts very seriously. Do not dismiss them or think that you will come through it.
  2. Consider and confront your personal risk factors and notice, name and nourish your protective factors.
  3. Focus on your feelings and talk to someone about your feelings. You may be feeling overwhelmed, traumatised, fearful, guilty, unable to cope or powerless. You should name these feelings and the fact that you are thinking of suicide.
  4. Notice the impact on your life and name it to yourself and talk to someone about that impact. This might include loss of sleep, drinking, feeling depressed, loss of energy, loss of libido, short temper.
  5. Think about who you would like to talk to. It might be a family member, a colleague, CA Support, a counsellor, your GP, a clergyperson, The Samaritans.
  6. You should not attempt to deal with these feelings alone.


CA Support has a confidential listening service. Feel free to get in touch if you need support during this time. We can be contacted by email at or call us on (353) 86 024 3294.

Article written for CA Support by Prof. Patricia Barker, Dip. Couns., MPhil, PhD, FCA