This is part one of three. You can find all three parts here.
I’ve carefully tried to word this so that the person who was involved isn’t referred to by name.
A friend of mine has depression. At 6pm this evening he sent me a text telling me basically that he was about to end it. He’d had enough.
I called him and he said that his two options were to take an overdose or jump. He then put the phone down on me.
That was enough for me. I called CJ and put my shoes on grabbed my bag and my jacket and ran down the stairs as fast as I could (I nearly ran into the door!!!)
I got in the car and headed for the Embankment – there are about 3 bridges that cross the main river an then two or three that cross the other bit.
We headed along the Embankment and decided that by foot would be better.
We parked the car and headed back towards the embankment. CJ called said friend again to find out where the was. We weren’table to find out any more details so we headed up the High Street and into the main bit of town.
We headed through different alleys and back routes in case friend was hiding there. We got to outside the bus station and decided we’d try there.
CJ then had a light bulb of an idea to try the multi-storey car parks. We were at the foot of one of them so we headed for the entrance. CJ must have taken the stairs at like four at a go!! I was struggling to put one foot in front of the other by about the fifth floor (yes people I need to get healthy). I stopped took a big breathe and decided that if I couldn’t do it for me I needed to do it for friend and friend’s family. So I plowed ahead and got to the roof.
I got through the door and looked to my left and friend wasn’t there I looked over the edge. He then got upset and walked off away from CJ did a bit of a loop past me and stopped near the barrier behind me. I turned round and walked back towards friend. I needed to be close enough that I could hang on to an ankle or something but far enough away not to freak friend out.
(deep breathe needed! I’ve seen it on Casualty but real life is a whole new ball game!!)
Friend once again made a circle back round and headed for a carrier bag that was on the floor. There were pills and drink in it.
I walked towards friend and picked up the empty packets (This was a bit of a mistake). I took the empty packets to CJ who was waiting near the up ramp of the car park then went back to friend. I knew if CJ was on the phone to 999 he needed as much info as I could give him.
I went back to friend who has taken a seat on a lower barrier which was inside the barrier friend had been lent against. In one hand friend has a bottle of fizzy and in the other friend had a packet of pills.
I asked my Friend how many friend had taken. Friend said about eight already. I decided that i needed to stand closer in case friend did something drastic and downed sixteen in one hit. (Not quite sure what I was going to do but i’m sure I would have come up with something!) I sat down right next to him.
A little while after I sat down friend decided that enough was enough and threw his drink on the floor shortly followed by some of the pills.
I’m not really sure what happened at this point. I remember the first policeman arriving then the police officer moved from standing in front of me to to standing next to my friend.
The policeman introduced himself and started to talk to my friend but friend wouldn’t say anything to him. I asked friend that if it was okay with the policeman could we walk downstairs and go over to the police station(in Bedford the police station is opposite the bus station). My friend refused this so we stayed put for a little while longer.
I think because friend wouldn’t move away from the barrier Policeman 1 called in Policeman 2 and 3 to come up to the top floor (I later found out that they’d been waiting downstairs). They’d parked the car right in front of us so I could kinda tell that they meant business.
They asked friend if he would get in the car and friend got annoyed at the policeman. The first p. man asked if he could have a word so we stepped a little bit away from friend.
P. Man said that they had two options because they’d been called they couldn’t leave as they have a duty of care to make sure that friend gets to the hospital to be seen to. The options were that friend came voluntarily or he came by force.
1st p man then asked that as friend was refusing to talk to them could i tell friend what was going to happen. In some moment of madness/adrenaline I said yes.
I went back and sat next to friend. Only now looking back I remember that p man 2 had moved so that he was stood next to friend.
I explained that the p men were going to take friend to the hospital. I started by saying that it was just a warning but that they would take friend by force if needed.
So somehow i convinced friend to get in the back of the police car.
I ran over to where CJ was and got friends mobile and jacket. I got back to the car and got in. (First time in a panda car and i was doing good rather than causing a nuisance lol)