Pause with me for a minute, close your eyes and count to forty. In the time it took you to do that, somebody -someone's mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, cousin, grandparent, son, daughter, or best friend- committed suicide.
In honor of national suicide prevention week and the amazing people at To Write Love On Her Arms, I would like to take a pause from my usual rants and share with you a little from my heart.
Did you know that every year, nearly a million people take their own lives? That's like every single person you ever hung out with, spoke to, hung out with, or sat next to in class all dying in one year. Makes for a pretty rough 365 days, huh? Imagine how the friends and families of those million people must feel.
Many people, myself included, will struggle with feelings of hopelessness and depression at some point during their lives. I have been blessed with so many caring and supporting people in my life, and a lot of amazing resources that helped me to arrest and manage my depression, deal with the frustrations that cause it, and not go back. I, however, am one of the lucky ones. Many people never receive the help they need and ultimately turn to suicide as a permanent solution to a temporary problem. This is made even sadder by the fact that, especially here in America, we have ample resources -many free- to help combat and cope with depression.
This is why I choose to support organizations such as To Write Love On Her Arms, which is currently working towards launching their online crisis center: IMAlive, similar to an online version of the suicide hotline. The work that TWLOHA is doing is vital to the growth of our generation. So, check them out along with several other cool and/or helpful links that I've included at the end of this post.
To wrap it all up, I'll say this: Next time you see someone who seems to be having an off day, or have the chance to speak with a friend or family member who is feeling down and you think in that second about going about your day, be it a friend or a stranger......just pause.