We live in a world where mental health still has a stigma. We also live in a world where the word “suicide” is taboo and an issue we are afraid to speak of at times.
Not really knowing (until a quick scan on Facebook told me otherwise), today is World Suicide Prevention/Awareness Day.
That “S” word has been brought up in conversation in our home. At one point, Sam had thoughts that were dark and consuming. He sought numbing methods to take away the heartache and pain of war. He wrote about it, perhaps a memory or thought for those who see war…and you can read it here: http://walkingwithmemphis.com/2018/09/for-those-who-see-war/
Through hellish days and nights, we must remember, we must tell others that our lives, their lives matter. We are not hopeless. We are not too far in the darkness to be rescued, or to need someone. We can reach out for someone to hold us up.
So, my thought is for this World Suicide Prevention/Awareness day is this. We can commit these numbers and websites to memory. Let’s share them with others who may need them and let others know that they do not have to row the boat alone.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (USA):
1-800-273-8255 (24 hours a day, every day)
Toll Free European Number:
Veterans Crisis Line https://www.veteranscrisisline.net/
24 hour, toll free hotline that provides phone, web chat, and text options available to military veterans and their families. It provides options for deaf and hard of hearing individuals as well.
1-800-273-8255, Press 1
Text to Talk in the USA
Get free help now by texting HOME to 741741 in the United States.
Text 686868 in Canada
Humans sometimes long to understand the basis of pain. A traumatic event, a deployment, violence in the home or in a relationship, these and other events can cause one to go to the depths of that pain and also make them believe that there is no way out. No place to get help. No one to talk with.
When people experience trauma it doesn’t just impact them, it can impact their family, their mental health, and their body. One can be extremely tense and attuned to threats all the time.
Sam is hypervigilant.
He experiences pain. He has been through trauma and he is now working each and every day on his better self. He put pieces back together.
He is brave.
He is not defined by his trauma.
When he was in need of help he decided to reach out.
You can reach out. You can get help. There is hope, there is help, and there is a way to heal.
If you have been in a dark place know that you are not alone. If you find yourself in a pit that seems so deep and dark know that you are not alone. If you think that sharing your story and your journey with someone to try and prevent them from taking their life, share it. Walk with them, hold their hand, listen without judgment and be present.
We may not know the warning signs and the symptoms.
We need to bring awareness to the “S” word.
We need to make sure the thoughts that take us to the pit do not define us as human beings.
We need to realize we do not have to believe the negative thoughts.
We have to understand life can get better. Even if we feel like we’ve been knocked down, even if we feel broken, even if we feel hopeless.
Instead of avoiding the “S” word, let’s sit down and talk about it, let’s spread love and compassion for those who are struggling. Let’s be kind to one another and let’s erase the stigma of mental health.