As we get closer to the end of Suicide Awareness Month, I have some thoughts to share with everyone. We all know that if we only pay attention to Suicide Awareness during September, we miss all the times people struggle throughout the year.
As we head into The Holiday Season, it can, for some, bring back thoughts of losses and increase feelings of anxiety and depression. These are the times when we all pay more attention to who is coming to dinner. And sadly, who is not?
The pressures we all feel when we face these situations and the resulting emotions are real. It truly is OK to not be OK, but it is not OK to ignore not being OK. This is the time to reach out, and when we see this in others … this is the time to ask, “How can I help?”
If we are ever to change the direction of Suicide, we must talk about it. Not just in September but whenever we hear, see, or feel it. Talking about suicide does not cause actions of suicide. It stops them. We have control over this if we are vigilant, pay attention, and have the courage to speak. Life is too short to take these issues for granted. We all deserve to have a life worth living. This world’s children should grow up in a place of hope and caring, not tragedy and despair. Together, we can make a difference and change our direction. Together, we can make wonderful things happen.
If you or someone you know is struggling with emotional stress or pain, call now, call anytime you need to. Caring people are waiting to help during September and every month.
Rik Cornell, LICSW
VP of Community Relations & Development