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How to I access help for my severely depressed brother who is abroad? It's urgent - he's talking about suicide

(10 Posts)
oneofsuesylvesterscheerios Fri 23-Sep-11 10:31:48

I am pretty sure my brother is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. He has suffered from depression, undiagnosed and hidden by him for most of his adult life. It's like a jigsaw has finally been finished right in front of me and I can't believe I missed it for so long. Our dad died in June and I'm pretty sure this has triggered this terrible period that he is suffering and it's all come out in the open.

Unfortunately he lives abroad and has done for years (part of the reason I haven't seen it I spose) and he's keeping in touch with me, which is one thing. But he's also been ill with fluey-type bug for 4 days and is laid up which has made him much worse I think. He has been emailing and texting me with messages that vary in lucidity but he has mentioned suicidal thoughts a number of times.

I strongly think he is very near to a nervous breakdown but I don't know how to help him. He works in a resort in a remote part of the world as a diving instructor. When I mentioned getting proper medical help he said he didn't think he'd be able to: nearest hospital miles away, although they must have a GP on the resort I'd have thought... but he also says he wouldnt be able to takes meds because of diving.

His girlfriend left him last month so there is no-one there to notice how bad he is and help him access help. However, I have texted her to ask who I might ask for help. She still cares for him but I guess it wore her all down. She's in France at the moment.

Do I completely interfere and contact his boss, risking his job but maybe helping him to access some help? Or do I butt out. From talking to friends who have experience of mental illness of this sort, they also tell me how utterly soul-destryong it is trying to help someone who is not ready to be helped or who is seemingly unable to do anything for themselves.

Please advise- I feel very helpless.

oneofsuesylvesterscheerios Fri 23-Sep-11 10:43:26

bump please

CMOTdibbler Fri 23-Sep-11 10:45:15

I'd contact his boss - you could just say you are very worried about his health, and that could they get a Dr to see him. There will be a Dr the resort use. At the moment, his job is the least of your worries.

If no help forthcoming there, you could contact the british embassy for that country and talk to them about what could be done.

I hope you manage to get him some help. My dh was terribly depressed at the beginning of the year, but with medication and counselling has made a fantastic recovery

instantfamily Fri 23-Sep-11 10:46:53

How awful for you and your DB.

Who are his buddies at the resort? Anyone who is there whom you could contact? Can he take a break and come home?

Can you call a british help line to see what advice they have for the situation?

oneofsuesylvesterscheerios Fri 23-Sep-11 10:50:43

Thank you CMOTdibbler. I've never had any close contact with depression like this and I constantly worry that I'm not doing 'the right thing' whatever that is.

I don't know of he will be angry at me for going above his head though. But surely they'd want him to be well. It can't be very good having someone in his state taking people diving. He can't think straight.

If he was in the UK it would be so much easier. (Ha! at easier, after caring for my dad for the last 18 months... not easier for me maybe but easier to access help for my db) God this is awful. Glad to hear your dh has had the help he needed.

oneofsuesylvesterscheerios Fri 23-Sep-11 10:51:38

good call, instantfamily. Will google some Uk helplines and see what I find.

instantfamily Fri 23-Sep-11 10:57:37

I am no expert in this but can you not tell your brother as well that it sounds like he needs help and whom does he feel could help him? if he doesn't come up with anything you could "suggest" for him to call a UK helpline.

cestlavielife Fri 23-Sep-11 14:32:48

if he is that bad; his boss and clients may have noticed anyway?

but if he is functioning normally at work then who knows.

i thin you shoudl email all his emails to you to his boss. let his boss on site take decisions and act. his boss is respobnsible for occupational health and safety of his employees - or is he freelance/self employed?

he is possibly risking others lives if he is diving instructor and is not functioning normally - you cant risk that can you?

madmouse Sat 24-Sep-11 13:34:22

emailing his boss is a massive breach of his confidence to comeone who is more likely than not unable to really help. Please it can land him into all sorts of diffculties with work and the last thing he needs right now is losing his job.

Keep the lines of communication with your brother open and keep encouraging him to seek help.

madmouse Sat 24-Sep-11 13:34:50

plus - not please

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