According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, death by suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the States. Each year, almost 45,000 Americans complete suicide. It is no wonder that the recent deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain have hit so close to home for so many.
Suicide is a devastating issue, affecting every demographic. We here at Rogue Millennials want to address suicide in an empathetic and frank manner. The best way we can all help each other is to find ways to contribute to suicide prevention. By now, you’ve seen article after article, tweet after tweet, post after post, sharing a phone number: 1-800-273-8255. This is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. There’s also an online chat option. To learn more about these resources, click here.
But help for those considering suicide lies not only in a phone number or an online chat. One of the best ways to get help for yourself is to locate people around you for your support system. When you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts or wanting to harm yourself, please reach out to anyone in your support system. Maybe it’s a friend, family member, spiritual mentor, or other important person. Teachers, coaches, bosses, band directors. Opening up to someone you know that cares about you can change everything – and if you feel alone, friendless, or without allies take the initiative to ask someone if they’ll be that person who cares about you.
If you’re someone with a friend that struggles with these very real issues, please check on that friend. Don’t just post a hotline number and move on. Call, text, and visit your struggling friends. It is also important to note that it’s not always easy to tell when someone is having thoughts of suicide or self harm. Those closest to Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain said they both seemed fine in the days before their deaths. Mental illness is the ever invisible entity in a person’s life. Never assume people are strong. Who of us is ever really that strong, anyway? We all need love and support.
So we say again: Check on your people. If you know a friend who has struggled with thoughts of suicide or self harm in the past, please check on them in the coming weeks. Invite them for coffee, offer to visit them at their house, whatever they’re most comfortable with. Maybe they’ll talk, maybe they won’t. But we guarantee you they’ll appreciate your support in whatever form they require it. Sometimes people don’t want to call a hotline. Sometimes they just want their support system around them.
Thank you for taking the time to read this very important information. Please share in the comments any specific ways someone has supported you during difficult times or ways you’ve supported others. We would love to hear from you.
“Encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” – Apostle Paul (1 Thess. 5:11)