I’m extremely excited to mention that I am working on another collaborative project for this coming month. As I’m sure you can tell from the title, the pieces will revolve around the idea of suicide and suicide prevention.
Having said that, I’m approaching this topic very apprehensively. This is without a doubt the most sensitive subject matter I’ve attempted to tackle yet.
I want to preface this by saying I am far from an expert. Although I will share my own experiences, and some pieces written by family and friends, these are only a couple of viewpoints in the wide world of opinions and experiences related to suicide and mental health in general.
The intention behind these stories is simply to create dialogue. In my opinion, we still don’t often make open conversation about such sensitive subject matter very readily available. How are people supposed to know how to seek help/cope/understand what they’re feeling if resources aren’t easily accessible and dialogue isn’t actively promoted?
According to Mental Health America, Suicide is now the 8th leading cause of death among Americans (it used to be the 10th according to the CDCP). Over 40,000 Americans take their lives each year.
Why does this matter so much to me?? Because I think that this topic is so much more complex than we often talk about. Those numbers and statistics cannot even begin to encompass such a multi-dimensional concept. It’s honestly difficult for me to even put into words what I mean by this because of how intricate I believe the topic of suicide is.
Here are the ideas floating around in my brain to support what I’m trying to get at though:
- That number of “40,000 American’s” doesn’t even include suicide attempt survivors or people with suicidal thoughts that have not yet acted on them
- The question of why people have suicidal thoughts is extremely complicated and difficult to answer (and it’s not a one-size-fits all type of situation)
- Suicide affects friends and family members too. On top of that, the extent to which it affects these people differs from person to person.
- Wanting to die doesn’t always mean you literally want to die, but it still feels all too real, and explaining what I mean by this is almost impossible.
- There is a massive stigma surrounding the topic that negatively impacts those struggling even more.
- Shame is such a huge factor that plays into all of this, and I believe the only way to learn and teach others that there is literally nothing to be ashamed of is to talk about it more!!!
Some of these posts will be from the point of view of those who have lost a loved ones to suicide. Some will be from the point of view of those struggling with suicidal thoughts themselves. Some of these will have comedic undertones, and some will be much more serious.
I hope that if you can take away one thing from this, it’s that there is no right or wrong way to share these experiences and feelings. And even more so than that, I hope that if you can relate to any of these words, you are able to begin to realize that you are so far from alone.
Also, a quick disclaimer: because this is such a delicate topic, please, as readers, keep in mind that each piece I share is, without a doubt, intended to be as sensitive and compassionate as possible.
I will start sharing posts for this month after Labor Day!
**Also, if you are interested in writing something for this month and I haven’t reached out to you yet, please feel free to contact me!! I would LOVE to share your words**