As the title suggests, this week is suicide prevention week. I feel like the topic of suicide is still highly under the radar on the social issues topic lists. The truth is that suicide (whether successful, attempted or seriously contemplated) effects more people than anyone would probably guess it to.
Because reports are lagging in time, the last estimated suicide data is from 2011 (which is insane if you think about it). Research shows that as of 2011 there was a reported 39,518 suicides.
The AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention) had this to say:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collects data about mortality in the U.S., including deaths by suicide. In 2011 (the most recent year for which data are available), 39,518 suicides were reported, making suicide the 10th leading cause of death for Americans (Figure 1). In that year, someone in the country died by suicide every 13.3 minutes (http://www.afsp.org/understanding-suicide/facts-and-figures).
With statistics like those, is it any wonder weeks like this exist? It’s weeks like this where attention to issues such as this is brought out in social media. So instead of reading posts about Jimmy dumping Sue and how she will be “#foreveralone” because no one will ever fill that hole in her 16 year old heart; how Ramona hates her parents because she received a samsung galaxy tablet instead of the iPad; how Anastasia is having “the worst week ever” or is “sick yet again.. ugh!”, the opportunity to post something meaningful that could help someone out there gets to happen.
I guess the whole point of this post is to give information and a message. I already gave brief information so here’s the message to those reading this who are struggling with suicidal thoughts, not just this week but every day you are alive.
I know a level of your pain that consumes your every day life. I know what it’s like to not want to get out of bed in the morning. I know the demon voices inside your head screaming their taunts, showing you the evil of the world instead of the good. I know that even these words seem so pointless to you who are trapped in that ever consuming darkness called depression/ hopelessness. I know that I’m just a stranger behind a key board typing out words to a world that I will never meet the majority of; but I care about lives.
I care about those who feel like the only way out is to leave. I care about those who see friends or family who try and help, as enemies.
If you’re reading this and feeling any of these things, know this:
It gets better. It takes time. It takes faith that the sun will rise sooner than we believe it will. The voice taunting you with these thoughts are lying. People love you, you just need to let them. What you want to end your life over is not your fault. They say time heals all wounds, and I’ve been finding it to be true in the long run; and believe it or not but you have so much more to offer in your life than you can see right now, you just have to fight.