Why World Suicide Prevention Day Is Important To Me + Resources That Help
I was in a meeting when she called. I couldn't get to one of her texts until hours later. I was waiting on her to meet me. Instead her mom reached out. My friend wasn't going to meet up with me, she was physically fine, but she wasn't okay.
Her story is hers to tell, so is the story of the second person who I love dearly and had suicidal ideations.
My role in their stories is the reason why World Suicide Prevention Day is important to me. They both reached out when their minds were full of endings. I can't tell you why they chose to reach out, but I can tell you that I'm thankful they did. Their roles in my life are just a small percentage of the impact they have on this world.
When I first started therapy my therapist and I worked on finding my "anchors" — actions that I had full control of – so that when life got hard and dark I always had *something* to remind me I wasn't powerless over my next breath. At the beginning it was my writing, but then I learned that when anxiety hits it peak my mind runs too quickly to put sentences together, so then I found music as therapy. Then I found prayer.
I leaned on all of those a lot during this last year. I prayed a lot for my loved ones who struggled. I asked that they would find their own anchors so that they remembered their next breath wasn't in vain, it was a choice. A bet that they could (with help + hands to hold) hedge on themselves.
TWLOHA — To Write Love On Her Arms — is one of my favorite organizations for this exact reason. Their #WSPD17 centers on encouraging everyone to fill in the sentence #IWasMadeFor...because it comes down to that, even in the darkest moments, you get to fill in the sentence on what you were made for.
Living with a mental illness that triggers suicidal thoughts is overwhelming and feels helpless, you're worth the help you need to ask for. If you live with a mental illness and are a shoulder for someone whose pain is different and heavier than yours, it's okay to need to both make sure they're okay and that you're okay too.
It's not selfish to need to check on your own mental health. Trust me.
Here are important numbers, resources and facts/figures that serve as a reminder that you're not alone.
Latina teens have the highest suicide rates among all teens.
National Institute of Mental Health Research — https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/suicide/index.shtml
- Difference between suicide, suicide attempt + suicidal ideation
- Leading cause of death among Americans
TWLOHA — I Was Made For Campaign — https://twloha.com/iwasmadefor/
National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255
Resources on helping someone else — https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/help-someone-else/
How to let FB/Insta/Twitter/etc know that someone is at risk —https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/help-someone-else/