I really wanted to write a new post on September 10th, but I couldn’t. Not that I didn’t have the chance to; I mentally could not do it.
For those who don’t know, that day is World Suicide Prevention Day. It’s an awareness day that provides worldwide commitment and action to preventing suicide. Since September is also Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, I didn’t want the month to go by without at least addressing suicide prevention and suicide awareness. I have a lot of experience in this world, which I hope to get into on future posts.
Like other mental heath issues, suicidal thoughts don’t have a demographic. It doesn’t matter what your age, sex, gender, race or religion is; suicidal thoughts can happen to anyone. Maybe it’s happened to you; I can tell you for a fact that it’s happened to me – but this post isn’t about me. This post is about you.
I might know you, I might not; that doesn’t matter. What matters is that you know that you are valued. That you’re cared for. That you matter.
Don’t believe me? That’s okay. I’ve learned that there is a stark difference in this world between what the truth is and what I believe to be the truth. You might not think you’re important; you are. You might not think you matter; you do. Because here’s the thing: you aren’t in charge of how people think of you. Yes, you can influence their perception of you, but you don’t get to think for them. If they think you matter then you matter, case closed.
There are so many resources available when it comes to suicide prevention. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has a great page made just for this month. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a wonderful resource for so many reasons, and do a great job of working with your demographic if that is something you need. There’s a hashtag on Twitter (#BeThe1To) that offers encouragement and help for those struggling. There is no shortage of help available.
But I know it’s not that easy. I know that sometimes asking for help when it comes to this kind of stuff is extremely difficult. It took me years before I ever felt comfortable talking about my suicidal thoughts. That’s okay. Just know that when you’re ready, there’s a community of mental health warriors who will be there to help you. Who want to help you. Because. You. Matter.