WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT SUICIDE
Today our society stands in the shadow of a crisis known as suicide.
Every day that passes more news emerges of a loved one, co-worker, acquaintance – even public figure – who has revealed the depth of their depression symptoms or, worse, succumbed to its overwhelming weight.
We simply aren’t able to turn a blind eye anymore.
We must choose to act NOW.
But first, given the recent news of lost celebrities, along with the many voices from within our nonprofit organization, I’d like to invite people to take a moment to breathe.
When our communities are faced with a tragedy such as suicide, one of the best first steps is to simply breathe. With the headlines still fresh regarding Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, our hearts are hurting. Our love and support goes out to the Spade and Bourdain families and friends. If you or someone you know has been affected by depression or suicide, we’re with you, and our love is with you.
SUICIDE STATISTICS AND D2E
According to the CDC, data shows that deaths by suicide have risen 30% in the past two decades. These rates are rising across all age demographics. In many studies, suicide is increasing as one of the leading causes of death in the U.S.
We are here to change the way we communicate with ourselves and others.
I’d also like to remind all reading that depression2extinction is not a group of therapists, counselors, or psychiatrists. We do not have the knowledge to medically advise. We are not claiming to cure anything. We are here to change the way we communicate with ourselves and others.
So why is suicide happening so frequently? Referencing a recent TIMES article:
“At the individual level, however, there is almost never a single cause of suicide. “Multiple factors are often involved,” Schuchat says. “Addressing and treating mental-health issues are an important part of suicide prevention, but social connectedness and support from friends, family, communities and institutions may also help people who are struggling for any reason.” (Dr. Anne Schuchat is the principal deputy director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
d2e stands to provide a space for community and connection. We don’t seek to provide answers, but we are here to support. Whether you simply need a place to check-in and share what you’re going through (check-in here) or if you feel called to join an online Small Group to connect with like-minded individuals (join a Small Group here), we are here with and for you.
“We need to be more connected and there for each other.”
The TIMES article goes on, “We need to be more connected and there for each other,” Schuchat says. “[Suicide is] widespread enough, and so, so difficult for those left behind, that we really want to do all we can.”
IT TAKES A VILLAGE
You see, community matters. Connection matters. And Your Story Matters! With suicidal thoughts and death rates skyrocketing in the past decade, it is time to truly connect and take a stand. Depression is an illness, not a weakness.
For those suffering, you are not broken.
For those who don’t quite understand, the feelings and symptoms of depression can be very hard to describe and sometimes it’s simply best to just be there to listen to someone.
(In 2017 music artist, Logic, released his song '1 800 273 8255'.)
Here are a few other ways to help support yourself or those suffering from depression and anxiety from the National Alliance for Mental Health:
Try to be active and exercise.
Set realistic goals for yourself.
Try to spend time with other people and confide in a trusted friend or relative.
Try not to isolate yourself, and let others help you.
Expect your mood to improve gradually, not immediately.
Postpone important decisions, such as getting married or divorced, or changing jobs until you feel better. Discuss decisions with others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation.
Continue to educate yourself about depression.
Messages from d2e Program Users & Suicide Survivors:
Sgt. Matthew Pennington – Drawing off my own personal experience of surviving what I would call a toxic state of mind, that was due to many different contributing factors. Regardless, these unattended factors led the way for my own attempt of suicide. In September of 2007, at an excessively high rate of speed, I ran my car into a brick wall in my attempt to end it all and be done with my suffering. Sadly, I had to go to these extremes before I would talk about my feelings with others and I would recognize that I too needed help. If only I had opened up earlier, I might not have gone through all of the trials and tribulations. I encourage everyone to reach out within their communities and strive to lift one another up. If you have things that you may wish to get addressed or worked out, just make the call to get help. Also if you know of someone suffering that may be going through a hard time, let them know you care and do not hesitate to see if you can make a call for help for them. "Never Make a Permanent Decision for a Temporary Problem in Life, The Only Way to Eat an Elephant is in One Bite and Can’t Never Could, Do Nothing. "
Nora Allen – To everyone: connect. Check in on the people you love, genuinely ask how they are doing. Don’t just show up when they are in a tough spot, but follow up afterwards, when everyone leaves and the pain may still be real. Check in with yourself– a big change in your “normal” or using things like drugs, alcohol, sex, food, or even the internet in excess can be a warning sign that there is more to look at. Similarly, listen to people in your life- not just the words they speak, but the changes in them and their behaviors as well. You can absolutely save a life.
Message from our Founder, Jeffrey S. Jackson (aka - Coach JJ): The entire team here at d2e is dedicated to impacting change around the STIGMA that surrounds depression, anxiety, and all mental illness. Our hearts go out to ALL the families affected by this debilitating disorder and we want you to know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Please reach out to our community at any time to connect with yourself, your emotions, or others. YourStoryMatters and we are committed to continually providing a safe and transformative space for you to experience your journey.
If you or someone you know is actively struggling, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Other Articles Referenced:
CNN on Anthony Bourdain's Death
TIMES on Kate Spade's Death
CDC on Suicide Rates
NAMI on Depression