Walking Out of the Darkness in 2020

Even though I have been working from home for the past seven months and only seen a handful of people in-person during that time, I’ve still be able to participate in virtual events throughout this pandemic. One date that’s circled on my calendar every year is the Out of the Darkness Community Walk, an annual event that’s hosted in communities across the nation by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Things looked a little different this year, but a big thing remained clear: suicide prevention has always been an important issue and no matter how it looks, there are so many people who continue to do whatever they can in this work.

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Closing Thoughts During Suicide Prevention Month 2020

In the three years I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve learned a lot about mental health and mental illness, but the topic I’ve learned the most about has been suicide prevention. As we reach the end of another year of Suicide Prevention Month, I try to take some time and reflect on what I’ve learned and the info and resources that have been shared. And since I love finding the perfect word or phrase to try to wrap up all the things I write, I spend too much time trying to find that one perfect thing to say. In reality, it probably won’t come this month, because while we’re wrapping up this month, we’re not finished talking about suicide prevention.

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What Is Your Role in Suicide Prevention?

In the three years since I started this blog, I have gained more and more courage to speak on many topics in the mental health space. Every September, I try to write a few posts for Suicide Prevention Awareness Month to raise awareness, education and resources. I also try to write a post for World Suicide Prevention Day that tries to bring the discussion to the forefront (you can find the 2020 post here). And while I am proud of how I’ve grown into being able to speak on this topic, I also think I was pretty harsh on myself in the past because I thought I wasn’t qualified to talk about suicide prevention. Recently though, I’ve learned how wrong I’ve been – and where I can go from here.

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The Fight Against Suicide: World Suicide Prevention Day 2020

TW: This post discusses suicide, suicide rates statistics and suicide prevention.

When I write about suicide prevention on this blog, it’s usually within the context of the current state of mental health in the United States. But today, I want to look at suicide prevention from a global perspective by talking about an extremely important day in the mental health community: World Suicide Prevention Day. Because make no mistake – suicide prevention is a global public health issue, and too many people still don’t really know what we’re up against.

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How Are We Talking About Suicide Prevention?

TW: This post discusses suicide and suicide prevention-related topics.

Contrary to how it seems on this blog, writing about suicide prevention, and talking about the topic of suicide isn’t easy for me. It brings up difficult memories and has a tendency to take me back to times in my life that were extremely painful. But I’m now in a place where I feel more comfortable sharing what I’ve learned, which is why I continue doing it. It’s helped me find a voice as a mental health advocate, and helped me form my own mindset and opinion on how to approach suicide prevention. And that’s what I’d like to share today.

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Suicide Prevention Lifelines and Other Resources

TW: This post discusses suicide.

As I wrote earlier this week, September is National Suicide Prevention Month in the United States. This month is extremely important to me for many reasons, and I’m not alone in feeling that. There are so many more people than you may realize who are going through difficult moments, and so many people that have dealt with – or are continuously dealing with – these struggles on a daily basis. Last year, I wrote about some of the resources to turn to for suicide prevention, but I thought I would update that list this year because of the current state of the world. I believe education and awareness are still lacking when it comes to discussing the topic of suicide, which is why we need to continue sharing these resources as far and wide as possible.

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Suicide Prevention Awareness Month 2020

TW: This post discusses suicide. 

Every September while I’ve been writing this blog, I post about Suicide Prevention Month. Since this is a mental health blog, I believe it’s important to see the connection between mental health and suicide prevention, and my own research and experience has shown me ways to advocate and talk about suicide prevention. One of those ways is through education and awareness. Suicide is a public health issue, and we need to understand how important suicide prevention is to fighting against it.

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Out of the Darkness Community Walk 2019

Last week, I was fortunate to participate in an Out of the Darkness Community Walk, one of the hundreds that are around the country every year by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This is the third year that I’ve been able to participate and fundraise for the AFSP, and every year I end up becoming stronger and more inspired by this event as it continues to shine a spotlight on bringing together thousands of people in the local area who are affected in some way by suicide.

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World Mental Health Day 2019

It’s October 10th, which means that once again it’s World Mental Health Day! Now I’ve written about World Mental Health Day before (twice, actually), so there is a lot that’s been said about not only recognizing the importance of mental health but seeking out ways to be as mentally healthy as possible. World Mental Health Day also takes place during Mental Illness Awareness Week, putting an added focus on being aware of how pervasive mental illness is in today’s world.

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Closing Out Suicide Prevention Month 2019

As we reached the end of Suicide Prevention Month, I thought long and hard about what I could write here, and to be honest I was coming up empty. You’ve seen the statistics – we know this is a major issue not only in our country but around the world. We know there are so many different resources we can turn to for help not only when we’re in a crisis, but just when we are struggling and need some help. Because even though you or I might not be experts on suicide prevention, we know where those experts are and how we can connect with them.

I guess the only real thought I had, that I thought was worth sharing here, is that even though the month is over the fight will go on. People and organizations around the world will continue to work to fight against suicide, and we should everything we can to help.

Two years ago I discovered Out of the Darkness Community Walks, which are events hosted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Each fall, hundreds of these walks are held in towns and cities all around the country with the intention to raise awareness and funds to the cause of suicide and suicide prevention.

When I went to my first walk two years ago, I didn’t know what to expect. And I was blown away. Now it’s an event close to my heart, and I walk in the D.C. walk every year (this year’s walk will be held on November 2nd – see my fundraising page for more information!). But there are so many organizations out there fighting suicide, not just the AFSP, and I’d encourage you to look and see where you could provide an impact.

I hope you can find your own way to help, whether it’s by volunteering time or money to an organization, or just taking a minute to check in with someone in your life. Because even the smallest outreach can have the largest impact, and you never know how you can help someone. This is a complicated issue, but an issue worth facing. Because the fight against suicide will continue, and we can’t give up now.

If you want to learn more about the work AFSP does or the Out of the Darkness Walks in general, their website has a ton of information that is extremely helpful on the subject.

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