Trigger warning: suicide.
To think that someone feels that death is the only way to escape mental illness is a terrible coping mechanism and I am not saying that out of judgment. I completely understand the terrible thoughts that can lead one to make such a decision. There is not one person living with a mental illness that I know that has not had suicidal thoughts.
Suicide is terrifying and it's scary to think that someone close to you may think that leaving this world is the best decision; instead of learning to deal with the mental illness. While I understand that it is extremely hard to seek help and to decide that your life is worth living is a really difficult decision, it is possible.
It is absolutely absurd to me how often I see "He/she was so young, and they had so much to offer the world. I'm glad they're in a better place now." You don't want to wait until it's too late to do something, or say something.
Be a friend, please. Check in with your friends, especially if you haven't heard from them recently. Remember that exhaustion is a sign of mental illnesses, namely Depression. And sometimes social withdrawal is evident. There are so many things we can help our friends and/or family that are living with a mental illness. Checking in is the least we can do.
I am sure there is at least one person that you think of immediately that when you ask them how they are, their response is almost always: "Oh, fine, just tired." I know that more often than not, that's my reply to the question.
I think that everyone needs to take a few steps to educate themselves in order to help decrease the number of suicides. And while it's easy for me to sit behind a computer screen and attempt to be vocal about it, I know it does not hold much meaning if I don't do it myself. When someone crosses my mind, I know that there must be a reason for it. So I check in...sometimes people need to know that you're thinking of them. It's such a simple gesture that can mean so much.
Please. If you have a friend living with a mental illness-- and I'm more than positive that you know at least one person-- take an hour and learn more about how their mental illness makes them feel. Be empathetic. Be there. Be present. Sometimes, that's all a person really needs. Effort is so hard to come by when we're living in such a "Me" culture.
It's never too late to educate yourself or be a friend. It's never too late to be there for someone. It's never too late...unless it's too late. There's often a regret that seems apparent when someone young is lost, so don't stand idly by. These regrets would not be daunting if you know that you were a constant in their life. I know that being a friend can be hard sometimes, but at least try to be a friend to yourself.