I’ve shared suicide prevention information here and here over the last few years. This year, with the pandemic, isolation, election, and civil unrest here in the US, many are feeling hopeless and helpless. I know I am struggling with just finding a calm space in the middle of this storm. If you need help either for yourself or someone else, know that you are not alone. Help is available if you just take that first baby step and talk with someone. Taking a minute to reach out to someone in your community – a family member, friend, colleague, or even a stranger – could change the course of another’s life.
- Lifeline (USA) 1-800-273-TALK (8255) suicidepreventionlifeline.org (Military Vets press 1, Spanish speakers press 2)
- Trevor Project-LGBT Youth (USA) 1-866-4-U-Trevor (1-866-887-3867)
My personal experience is limited but has been impactful. An acquaintance from junior high, we had band class together, was a popular girl with a beautiful smile, personality, and was a cheerleader yet felt so alone she didn’t make it to high school. Most recently, someone I know tried to drink themselves to death. Thankfully they didn’t succeed this time, but I still think to myself what more could I have done. Maybe I should have listened more or talked with their family, things would have turned out different.
Suicide Prevention Action
This year I plan to do something different. I pledge to Take 5 to save lives, learning the signs, how to help, practice self-care, reach out, and spread the word. Will you join me and take the time to Take 5 to save lives?
A portion of a previous post
I read a meme or something years ago, that said just smiling at someone might make a life or death difference to the person receiving that smile. Even if that stat wasn’t true, I mean how will we ever know for sure, why not share your smile and possibly make them feel a bit better? If nothing else it will make YOU feel better. I had several classmates commit suicide when I was young and I always wonder what if I had noticed or said something that might have helped them find the help they needed. So I try to smile as often as I can to people I know and those that I don’t as it doesn’t cost anything and it makes me a bit happier and wouldn’t this world be a much better place if we all did that? Here are a couple more sites that talk about smiling at strangers: Psychology Today, Sentinel & Enterprise, Sara Esther Crispe.