Suicide Prevention Needs To Go Beyond September
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Health and Wellness

Suicide Prevention Needs To Go Beyond September

Something as heinous as taking your own life should be a lifelong priority.

Suicide Prevention Needs To Go Beyond September
A Little Escapism

September is Suicide Awareness Month. We bring attention to something so sinister, evil, and possessive that takes away over 40,000 people each year, and find ways to prevent that number from growing. Suicide affects society in more ways than perhaps any other mental illness does; it does not discriminate, nor does it have any mercy, for it manipulates the greatest of people into subsequently ending their lives so soon. It catches anyone by surprise, including myself, who lost someone very close to me several years ago. It leaves a void that is deep beyond return, no matter how confident you firmly say you are, as well as many unanswered questions.

I’m writing this where suicide is somewhat making the rounds in the news circle more so than usual. Just several days ago from when I was writing this, a man attempted suicide at the L station right by my school, DePaul University, and earlier in the year someone succeeded in taking their own life at the same station. Also, earlier in the week a new video was released of the late Chester Bennington just 36 hours before he took his life, showing almost no signs of depression whatsoever.

Suicide also has, for better or for worse, been a popular subject in pop culture. Shows, regardless of one’s view on the show’s overall message, like Thirteen Reasons Why feature plots showing the repercussions of having unanswered questions brought on by suicide. Logic even released a song called “1-800”, which borrows its name from the National Suicide Prevention hotline, telling listeners that they are most certainly not alone when dealing with depression.

Perhaps I’m writing this just because suicide has been a “hot” issue at the time of this article’s publishing, but like I said before, suicide to me is something that affects me personally, for it claimed someone who I would’ve thought would never allow mental illness to incapacitate their conscience, and I believe that is one of the main reasons why people are dismayed at the idea that suicide affects the last of the people we think would do such a thing.

Admittedly, this seems like yet another generic post regarding suicide prevention, in that at the end of the day is that we all just need to be nice to each other, but I cannot stress how important it is to go beyond that mindset. Suicidal thoughts tend to stem from the idea that suicidal people feel constantly alone, helpless, bored with their life, and that they genuinely have no purpose in life whatsoever.

One way to go the extra mile in suicide prevention is to ask. As trivial as it sounds, ask someone whether or not they are ok; the smallest of attention can be the first slit in the mountain to helping someone. Comfort and ensure them that they have meaning in someone’s life: yours. Spend time with them and do something as small as a Target run, and if they ever question your seriousness, tell them that why would you be spending time with them in the first place?

Overall, suicide is something that has confused society for generations, and prevention is an even more trickier puzzle, and do not get me wrong that there are most certainly more calmer and in some cases more assertive ways in dealing with suicide. In my view, assurance and generosity are two factors in helping someone change their life for the better.

And if heaven forbid you ever fail in preventing a suicide, NEVER ASSUME OR THINK THAT IT’S YOUR FAULT. Mental illness is something as monstrous as anything possibly imagined. You tried and invested so much time in that person’s life in trying to make it as positive as it can be. No one is selfish or at fault for committing suicide, for one to be suicidal is to be mentally ill; you cannot in good conscience take your own life. I know that for a fact, for the person whom I knew that took their own life was perhaps one of the most generous, welcoming and charismatic people that I ever had the blessing of knowing.

Suicide can affect virtually anyone, and just like anything as vile and cancerous as the act, it is up to us, as someone with the God-given gift of empathy, to be diligent about it, and help those who most certainly need it, as difficult as it may be.

If you or anyone you know feels as if their life is in jeopardy due to suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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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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