Suicide is a hard topic for me to discuss. How do you discuss a topic in which people feel so hopeless that there is no other escape than death?
I have never been suicidal, but I understand being trapped in one’s own thoughts and feeling part of a different world. I know about being so down a dark hole that one cannot see there there is light all around. I can relate as to how people can see that there is only one way out.
I was deeply affected by the deaths of Robin Williams and Chester Bennington. Both committed suicide and struggled with depression. Will that be me one day?
Mental illness does not care if you are a celebrity or an “average Joe”. Mental illness does not discriminate. Williams and Bennington, with their art, talked about the dark times and tried to give an escape to others. I know many Linkin Park songs that I felt that I could relate to and I was thankful for.
I believe that statistics/data paint a powerful picture:
-Suicide is the10 th leading cause of death in the United States
-Each year 44,193 Americans die by suicide
-For every suicide, it is estimated that a person attempted 25 times prior
-Suicide costs the US $ 51 billion annually
-On average, there are 121 suicides per day.
-Statistic information comes from the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention.
One of the powerful reminders to me in difficult times is that I am not alone. I know it is cliche, but knowing that I am not alone, and that what I am going through is not a “unique” situation, gives me great comfort. There are other people out there that I can talk to! Social media has been a huge help in connecting me with people who have arthritis. I can use their resources to help myself.
The statistics above paint a picture that if someone is struggling they are not alone. Below is a picture I took from Active Minds Send Silence Packing event. Active Minds travels the United States and visits college campuses to raise awareness about mental illness among college students. For this exhibit they place out 1,000 back packs to bring awareness for suicide prevention. These are back packs of students who were lost to suicide. It is estimated that 1,000 college students die by suicide each year.
This is a photo that SHOWS no one is alone.
Awareness days, like Suicide Prevention Day, are important. It serves as a reminder that no one is alone in their journey. It is a way for people to learn about resources to help themselves, and others, that are in need. And it is also a reminder that there are people out there that CARE.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Luckily, there are many resources to turn to if you need help:
–Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
–Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 74174