Sunday, June 30, 2013

Let's Talk About Suicide

A friend of mine sent me this video a couple months ago after the MHWTC End the Stigma Workshop. I finally decided to watch it this weekend after a couple of tough days missing my dad. WOW! I can't believe all the similar themes between John's story and the story I shared at the workshop.

Please, please, please spend just four short minutes watching this video.

John's Story:

Here are a couple of quotes that really stood out to me.

John's Story:

"19 out of 20 people who attempt suicide will fail. But the people who fail are 37% more likely to succeed the second time. This truly is an at risk population with very few resources to support them. What happens when people try to assimilate themselves back into life, because of our taboos around suicide, we are not sure what to say; and so quite often we say nothing. This furthers the isolation people in this situation feel."

My Story: 
The last time I saw my dad I knew in my heart there was something seriously wrong. When I looked at him, looking at me, there was emptiness in his eyes where there usually was unconditional love. I felt helpless. I didn’t know what to say, so I didn’t say anything. That is something I regret. I was uncomfortable talking to my dad about depression, anxiety, and his thoughts of suicide.

John's Story:

People who have made the difficult choice to come back to life need more resources and our help! I want to encourage you if you are struggling, or know someone who is struggling with suicidal thoughts to talk about it. Get help. It's a conversation worth having and an idea worth spreading. 

My Story:

My advice to people who are struggling to help a loved one that is depressed or suicidal is, speak up! Speak up about your feelings, even if it is just to say you are scared. Speak up to medical professionals by asking questions. Then ask more questions. Continue asking questions until you get a clear answer. There are so many people who devote their lives to helping others cope with mental illness. Did you know that the National Suicide Prevention hotline is not just for people in crisis? If you are concerned about a loved one they encourage you to call so that you can find out what resources are available in your area. Your call is routed to the Lifeline center closest to your area. I believe silence helps perpetuate the stigma surrounding mental health and suicide. People do not want to talk about these topics because they are uncomfortable, but we need to. We need to so that we can learn, discover, heal, cope, and survive.

It is so important that people begin talking about these topics. I am so happy to be a part of the Bring Change 2 Mind foundation that is dedicated to ending the stigma surrounding mental health and suicide. When we eliminate the stigma people will feel more comfortable reaching out for help and talking about their struggles. Please share this video with anyone you think many benefit from it.

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