SEPTEMBER 10th - WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY
There are three words we don’t say often enough – and I’m not talking about ‘I love you.’ In the six years I’ve spent wondering how – or if – I could have stopped my husband’s suicide, I’ve realized there was one question I didn’t ask often enough: Are you okay?
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not attempting to oversimplify a despairingly complex topic, nor am I blaming myself for my husband’s decision to throw himself in front of an oncoming train. In the aftermath of this tragedy, I realized suicide prevention isn’t about hotlines and healthcare reform (although those topics should certainly be addressed). Suicide prevention is about knowing how to start a conversation with someone at risk.
Removing the stigma
I get it. It’s hard to talk about suicide. But avoiding hard conversations will never save lives. In fact, advocates for mental health agree that the first step in abolishing the stigma surrounding mental illness is to talk about it. Discussing these issues is the only way for us to realize that we’re all more alike than we are different. According to National Institute of Mental Health, one in four Americans experiences a mental health disorder every year. Additionally, nearly 7 percent of Americans reported experiencing a major depressive episode in 2016 alone. Even with number like this, those suffering may still feel incredibly alone – and hopelessly lost. That’s why starting an open, candid conversation is the best way to help a loved one suffering from mental illness or considering suicide.
What to say
How do you start what could potentially be the most important conversation of your loved one’s life?
Read more at The Elephant Journal
by Kristi Hugstad
Each of us has attached ourselves to something or somebody, and when you lose that special thing or person, you grieve. Always. You can try to run from it all you want, but it will always find you and tackle you when you’re not looking. My blogs, along with my books, will give you the tools to help you learn to live with your new self as you journey through your grief.