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09/11/2023 “National Suicide Prevention Week” By Kaylee McGrath

Opening Statement:

I’m sure there are many people as well as myself at one or more times in their lives felt overwhelmed, feelings of distress, and not wanting to wake up the next day. There are many reasons why so many of us feel this way. For myself, it usually is associated from frustration with my several disabilities, wanting to keep up with career and financial goals as others do in my generation, what is happening in the world both politically and catastrophically, health issues, family, social media, etc. As I’ve been told several times is, ending your life is not the answer. The answer is, getting the help and support you need to guide you through a horrible time(s) in your life. Trust me, you and me are not alone in feeling totally helpless at times, and probably more times than what we want to admit to ourselves or others.

About the Awareness:

National Suicide Prevention Week, will begin this year on September 10th and ends on September 16th. This year, is an annual campaign observed in the United States to educate and inform the general public about suicide prevention and to warn about rising suicide rates. It also aims to reduce the stigma surrounding suicide and encourage the pursuit of mental health assistance because going to therapy should be as normalized as going to the gym.

History Of Suicide Prevention Week:

· The American Association of Suicidology sponsors National Suicide Prevention Week (NSPW) activities. Since 1975, NSPW awareness events are held throughout the week corresponding to World Suicide Prevention Day, which is recognized annually on September 10th.

· Although suicide awareness activities started in the 1950s, the history of suicide itself goes back to the 1700s. The act of suicide is also prominently mentioned in ancient legend and history. Ajax the great killed himself in the Trojan War and Lucretia’s suicide around 510 B.C. initiated the revolt that displaced the Roman Kingdom.

· Attitudes towards suicide have varied over the years through the Renaissance and Enlightenment periods with some supporting the act in cases when people were afflicted with a disease and some denying that suicide was a crime. It was not until the 1950s that suicide prevention activities in the U.S. started.

How To Observe Suicide Prevention Week:

Raise Awareness

One of the most helpful and effective ways we can observe Suicide Prevention Week is by raising awareness of it. We need to reduce the stigma around it and raise awareness so that more and more people can reach out for help.

Educate Yourself

The best thing we can do is to learn more about it. We need to educate ourselves and facilitate proactive prevention in our communities so that we can shatter the silence around our mental health.

Look Out for Others

Most of the people suffering from poor mental health do not reach out for help for fear of being judged or misunderstood. So, we need to look out for others and check for warning signs. We need to help people feel heard and understood.

Why Suicide Prevention Week Is Important:

It Helps Prevent Suicide

We can save plenty of lives by raising awareness this week, reaching out to those affected by suicide, and connecting individuals with suicidal thoughts to treatment services.

It Reduces Stigma Around Mental Health

By spreading awareness during Suicide Prevention Week, the stigma around mental health has reduced a great deal and most people nowadays are not ashamed to ask for help.

It Fosters Compassion in People

Gaining knowledge about this week is helping people learn to empathize, be compassionate, and come together as a community to educate and support each other.

Suicide Prevention Week Frequently Asked Questions:

What Is the Most Suicidal Month?

It is assumed that the suicidal rate is higher in dark and cold months of winter, however, studies show that suicide rates peak during early summer and late spring.

Which Country Is the Most Suicidal?

Lithuania is currently among the countries with the highest suicide rates in the world.

How Many People Die by Suicide Every Year?

Almost 800,000 people die every year due to suicide, which means one death every 40 seconds, according to the World Health Organization.

Closing Statement:

When horrible times fall upon you, and don’t seem to be going away, the best thing to do is stay active and not become a couch potato by watching hours of TV/movies, over eating, or skipping meals because you’re sleeping too much. The best thing to do is get some fresh air and sunshine (go out even if it is raining and use an umbrella), walk, ride a bike, take a drive in your car, go to a public place where you can see people and possibly interact, e.g., museum or an art gallery. The public library is a great place to go to because they have various programs every day at every branch. Enroll in a class and learn something new and this is a good way to connect with new people. Try to stay off social media and instead call a friend and plan to meet in person. Most importantly, if you are being ghosted on social media or dating apps, don’t worry or focus too much about those individuals, because they are the ones that have a problem, NOT YOU! What I learned is not to worry about the people who no longer want to be in your life or date you. Focus on the people who you will be meeting in your near future. If someone is ghosting you either male or female, and they cannot tell you directly why they no longer want to be friends or date you, chances are they have a maturity issue that prevents them from being mature enough to tell you why they no longer want to continue being associated with you. Those types of people are just useless heavy baggage that you do not need in your life. You should just sit back and smile, because now they’re someone else’s problem and no longer yours. Always know, there will be good times ahead, and nicer people to meet in the future!

Source of Information: Various Google Searches and Personal Experience Comments

Until Next Week, Stay Safe and Well!

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