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How The Suicide Conversation Is Changing In 2018

We don't have to wait to care.

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How The Suicide Conversation Is Changing In 2018

When I started writing this article, I originally had it headlined "Stars—They're Just Like Us" because that is the phrase that has been playing on repeat in my head over the last week with the death by suicide of two of the world's most powerful influencers - Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain.

When I was first made aware of the death of Kate Spade I was walking on a treadmill when the news notification popped up on my phone which was propped up in front of me. I found out about Anthony Bourdain when the news notification woke me up only three days later.

I recently watched a documentary on Netflix called "27: Gone Too Soon" which explores the deaths of a few famous members of the '27 club'; Jimi Hendrix, James Morrison, Janis Joplin, Brian Jones, and Amy Winehouse. When discussing Janice Joplin's struggles with substance abuse, British music critic Barney Hoskyns made an important statement:

"I've talked to people who worked with and were close to Janice and they all sort of say the same thing, which was "we could see she was floundering, we could see she was in trouble but we didn't have the vocabulary that we have now," no one knew or talked about rehab or addiction"

Lucky for us, it's 2018 and we have a much more expansive vocabulary regarding suicide than ever before. We should be using this to our advantage—and many are.

A little over one year ago, rapper Logic released a powerful song along with singers Alessia Cara and Khalid. The song is titled "1-800-273-8255". Before I heard the song for the first time, I had no idea that this was the phone number for the American National Suicide Prevention Hotline. The artists featured in the song performed it live at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards. The NSPL reported that the hotline received a 50% surge in the number of calls to the hotline following this performance.

The suicide conversation is changing right now and it's a conversation that we can all be a part of. In the conversations that we have with our friends and family and even people that we don't know every day, we are shaping this conversation. Every day people are taking to social media to encourage their friends and followers to check on each other and to be aware of the people around them and the situations that they're in.

For some people, a celebrity suicide is the closest that they will come to suicide touching their lives.

"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me."
-Martin Niemoller

We don't have to wait until our lives are personally affected by suicide to care. In fact, being preventative might just save the life of a loved one.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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