Every year we set aside a time to make people aware of a devastating occurrence that destroys the lives of many individuals here in the United States and worldwide. But setting aside a month, week, or even a day will never be enough time to replace the effects suicide has on the lives it leaves behind.
Usually, when we hear someone presenting on suicide, they fill us with statistics and warning signs, trying to get our attention or give us tools to deal more effectively and be more aware of this devastating action. This is important but not enough. We also need tools and information to help those left behind. You see, the devastation connects with so many for so many reasons.
The numbers have been growing, and the reasons are vast, yet little is done to try to end this horrible tragedy outside of the mental health, hospitals, and support services and groups. But, so many individuals never get connected to those services. This can be due to stigma, lack of resources, or simply not believing they will help.
When the second leading cause of death for someone between the age of 10 and 24 is the result of suicide, and the first leading cause is accidents (Usually substance related), why is this not the top news we hear or read every day? Making matters even more alarming, this is the present situation in our State of New Hampshire!
We can all change this, and we must. We are a society that can do so much better than this. First, we must stop the silence, fear, and disbelief many live with. We can start by talking about suicide. Not just in September but all through the year. The more we talk about suicide, the more it will become ok to talk about suicide. By doing this, we can bring suicide out of its dark and hidden shell and begin to save lives.
We at The Mental health Center of Greater Manchester challenge our staff and everyone who hears this message. Start the conversation about suicide. It may not feel okay to start talking about suicide, but you will soon find that many people will engage in your discussion. This is especially so when you ask others if they know that right here in New Hampshire, suicide is the second most common way youth die between the ages of 10 and 34. Do this at work and in your life with family, friends, and people you meet. This talk is important if we are ever going to stop lives from ending this way. We can make a remarkable difference in these lives by changing how we talk about suicide. Hope begins when we all talk…
If you or someone is struggling or just wants to talk, call 883-710-6477 or check out NH988.com
Rik Cornell, LICSW
VP of Community Relations