Suicide is pandemic. No gender, age, culture, or class is immune to it. And suicide has an aura of silence and taboo around it: it’s hard to talk about. It’s hard to actually say the words “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” to people we care about. We don’t want to say those words because that’s the worst reality we could face. But that’s how we prevent suicide: by listening, asking, and talking.
Silence isn’t the only problem. Our culture is hard on those who attempt or commit suicide. They are often called “crazy” or “selfish” or “immoral.” Judgments are quick and common: “I just don’t understand how she/he could....” And just like that, understanding is shut down, the conversation doesn’t happen. Rarely are there discussions in our media or culture or with each other that talk about mental health and suicide in productive ways. But that’s how we prevent suicide: by listening, thinking, and talking.
Too many myths about suicide have too much power. Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE) lists a number of misconceptions that are spread every day:
It's essential to keep talking about suicide in ways that connect us to each other. Below are some resources, some for immediate help in crisis, and some for support, education, and awareness.
Resources for crisis
If you or someone you know is in crisis, there are people who can help immediately.
Call anytime 24/7:
Re:solve Crisis Network 1-888-7 YOU CAN (1-888-796-8226)
Resources for support and awareness
The Matt Arch Foundation, currently a subsidiary of Side Project Inc, is a philanthropic organization committed to raising awareness for the global pandemic that is suicide. Through fundraising, we will aid the cost of suicide education and thus diminish its unpredictability, and through activism, we will encourage a public discourse on the pandemic and thus increase its visibility and prevention. There is a concert benefit Friday, June 24, featuring ill Willis at the Smiling Moose restaurant in South Side to raise funds for this foundation.