Suicide is a very personal, debatable and emotional topic for everyone. It can affect anyone; you, me, celebrities, family and friends.
Suicide Prevention Awareness Day is approaching on September 10 2017 but it needs to be discussed on a daily basis, more now than ever.
I have first hand experience with suicide through my father, who lived with bipolar since his teens and prescription medication addiction for 15 years. In my fathers’ situation, his suicide attempts were his way out; his way of not having to deal with arguing with my mother and not having to deal with my brother and I bickering about the smallest things. Did I feel this was selfish of him? Yes. Most people say suicide is a selfish thing to do. In my honest opinion, looking back now, I did have selfish thoughts; who was going to take care of us financially, who was going to help with the decision making. Mind you, my brother and I were still young, ranging from 13 to 20, over a 4 year time span. We did understand that it wasn’t right what our father was going but we did not understand, at all, about bipolar and how the prescription medication affected his system. I remember feeling scared, confused, mad, sad, helpless and wanted so much to help my father but didn’t know how, except listen when he needed to talk to someone. Today, I don’t feel it was selfish of him. As a mental health advocate, I have educated myself and realize now that my father was stuck, frustrated, tired, confused, not taken seriously and this was what was easiest for him to stop everything.
Mental illness, addictions and suicide were not discussed in the 90’s, not like today where there’s more discussions.
Netflix had aired the series “13 Reasons Why” and has brought out a lot of discussions. I feel this is a good start for conversations, which adults and kids. September is just around the corner and I really hope school boards and teachers are prepared to welcome any discussions on mental health and suicide prevention. More and more kids are being diagnosed with depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses. Without the proper help, these kids will feel overwhelmed and will not know how to cope.
Recently, there have been suicides in the media involving celebrities. Unfortunately, this does show that mental illness, addictions and suicides do affect anyone.
A few words of advice, through my personal experience;
1/ If you feel you are struggling, please talk to a professional. Find the one person in your life that you trust and can confide in
2/Remember you’re not alone and it is okay to talk about what you’re experiencing
3/ If you have a loved one or a friend in need of help and/or they need to talk to someone, take the time and be that someone; you may save their life