Good morning conglomerates! Happy Sunday! Today I want to touch base on a topic I have been wanting to discuss for a few months now but I was unsure how to approach the topic. Today, I decided the message has to get to someone & awareness needs to be spread. A few years ago, beloved actor/comedian Robin Williams committed suicide. On June 5, 2018, fashion designer Kate Spade did so as well. A few days later, a 61 year old celebrity ended his life prematurely. Although not new, the revelation that celebrities are commiting suicide has taken social media by storm. Suicide is not a new pandemic but in a society like the one we live in, it is treated like a taboo. Suicide is a topic that is not discussed or remembered unless it is committed by a figure in the public eye.
Today, I want to remind you that suicide is VERY real. It is not a situation that only occurs to people we do not know or on television. Sadly, suicide can hit really close to home; even if we do not know it. The thought to commit suicide plagues the lives of people often. A few months ago, I wrote a memoir reminding you all to Nurture Your Mental Health. I expressed the importance of not being ashamed to speak up when you are not feeling like yourself or if assistance is needed. I encouraged you to ignore the judgemental statements of those who contribute to the ignorance of society. I asked that you mindfully & gently put the care of yourself & your loved ones first. I reminded you not to be ashamed of your mental health status & to remember that despite how you feel or your diagnosis that you are “normal“. Sadly, people’s mental state has led them to pursue a definite & irreversible fate, if accomplished. It is heart wrenching that the only way people feel they can pursue peace is by making such a final decision that does not allow them to keep living.
To give you an idea:
- Nationally, 44,193 reported suicides
- Rate 121.1/day
- 33,984 of all male deaths were by suicide
- 10,199 all female deaths were by suicide
- A person has committed suicide every 11.9 minutes
- For every one suicide, there have been 25 attempted suicides
- Though men are 3.5 more likely to successfully commit suicide than women, women attempt 3 times more than their male counterparts
So to fullfill our moto & live our best lives we have to understand that living our best lives does not only apply to our own personal lives but to the lives of our loved ones. Today, I ask that a group effort is made to actively check in on one another. Sometimes we get so caught up in our own lives that we forget that people are fighting internal battles that they may not express to us. What we may see as outlashing or withdraw may actually be a cry for assistance. Often, those who are suicidal feel they are a burden in the lives of others & fail to reach out on their own. Therefore, we can save them, what seems to us as a a small step, & reach out to them instead. Many times we allow our pride to get in the way. We write a person off as “attention seeking” or selfish when we do not hear from them. We never stop to think that maybe their struggle has nothing to do with us but everything to do with their inability to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Though we have not all had suicidal ideation; we have all had periods when we have felt alone, unloved & unwanted. So gently checking on them can save us alot of heartache in the future & get them the help that they need in the long run.
Though the signs may not always be evident. Certain indicators can alert us that an individual is in acute danger & may urgently need help.
- Talks about wanting to die or kill themselves
- Expresses feelings of hopelessness or having no purpose
- Expresses feeling trapped or being unbearable pain
- Concerned they are a burden to others
- Increase in substance use (alcohol & drugs)
- Anxious, agitated or reckless behavior
- Little or too much sleep
- Withdrawing & feeling isolated
- Exhibiting rage or expresses a need to seek revenge
- Displaying extreme mood swings.
With that being said, make a conscious decision to “drop a line” to someone you have not heard from in a while or you feel may be acting differently. Though their behavior may effect you negatively or you simply may be overwhelmed with your own life; some people have a harder time doing stepping away from their misery. Although they may not thank you now, I have no doubt that they will thank you later. You never know how your small gestures can help someone finally see the light they are so desperate to see. Calling in & acknowledging we are thinking of them can be the first step to the intervention they desperately need. For this purpose, I will ensure to include resources at the bottom of this memoir if you feel they can help save someone’s life.
Now, if you are the person who I am referring to in this memoir & you feel that there is no way out of your predicament; I want to assure you that you can get through it. Though you may not feel like it, the world will be a very different place if you were not here living in it. Your life is valuable. You are not a burden & there are people on this Earth that love you & will miss you desperately if you were gone. Your story & your life matters. Despite feeling how you feel, you are worthy of happiness. Unfortunately, joy & pain are realities of life so please try to understand that your pain & sadness will come to an end. Even if it feels like it, it will not last forever. You are a SURVIVOR & capable of so much more than you think. Seek help. There are people who are trained to care for you & provide treatment that is made specifically for you. Please do not give up. Do not be ashamed. You deserve everything you want for yourself & more. YOU ARE WORTH IT! Please refer to the resources I have included below. There is someone that will be more than willing to help you. To remind you that your life is worth living, I have included the story of a suicide survivor who describes feeling much like you do at the lowest point of his life. Use it to remind yourself that you are not alone.
Kevin Hines, Suicide Survivor
Please be advised, if assistance is needed you can receive initial assistance from your primary care provider. If there is an urgent situation, calling 9-1-1 can assist you with getting what you need immediately. Also, other resources to assist are listed below. Please feel free to reach out to them for assistance.
SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline, 1‑877‑SAMHSA7 (1‑877‑726‑4727)
Get general information on mental health and locate treatment services in your area. Speak to a live person, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1‑800‑273‑TALK (8255) or Live Online Chat
If you or someone you know is suicidal or in emotional distress, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.Trained crisis workers are available to talk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your confidential and toll-free call goes to the nearest crisis center in the Lifeline national network. These centers provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals.
I know many of my subscribers are located in NJ. I have also included resources that are available in the South Jersey area.
NJ Hopeline Call Center 1-855-654-6734
Camden County Screening Center 1-856-428-4357
Gloucester County Screening Center 1-856-845-9100
Second Floor Youth Helpline 1-888-222-2228
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Statistics: Foundation For Suicide Prevention: More Than Sad