Tuesday, September 11, 2018

You Matter Too! + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content

Have you known or been associated with someone who has committed suicide? I know it has certainly touched my life. My uncle, who served in the Korean War, committed suicide when he wasn't given a bed in the Veterans' Hospital Psychiatric Ward--something he was guaranteed as a veteran and a diagnosed schizophrenic. He knew he was having problems and when he tried to get admitted, he was turned away. He had nowhere else to turn and so he took his life. I was quite young and don't remember too much about the details. The one thing I do remember is how broken up my Dad was---I had never seen him weep before. He and my uncle had been extremely close as brothers growing up.
I have a friend who struggles with depression and it's not because of any diagnosed mental disorder. It's because she has had a very abusive, neglectful, and traumatic childhood. The things that happened to her have scarred her for life and sometimes the pain is too much to bear. She has survived several suicide attempts. She is currently doing well right now and because of her cries for help, she has many friends who have rallied around her and offer support. I'm so thankful that things are turning out OK for her. 

I think the most ironic and shocking incident happened when I was working at an alternative high school that was for troubled youth who were falling behind and getting lost in the shuffle. We were just beginning to observe Suicide Prevention Week, when our principal's son turned up missing. Later that week we learned that he had been found, dead from suicide. It was so tragic to learn of this and so ironic that it happened during the actual week of what we were trying to prevent....suicide. It brought way too close to home the fact that suicide knows no boundaries.

Even children think about suicide. During a news conference Utah Lt. Governor, Spencer Cox, talked about his childhood, when his parents divorced and how he was also teased and bullied at school. He thought about suicide and shared how a great scout leader helped him through his darkest time.

Today, September 10, is World Suicide Prevention Day and all of September is Suicide Prevention Month. According to the World Health Organization, suicide is the second-leading cause of death among 15- to 29-year-olds globally, with more than 800,000 deaths due to suicide each year. That’s approximately one person every 40 seconds. Many more attempt suicide.
Image - Nichole Jensen
 With those alarming statistics it's high-time that people unite and set aside differences they may have. This past weekend was the National Weekend of Prayer for Faith, Hope, and Life. It was for people of faith from all denominations to join together and use the power of combined prayer to help those whose lives have been touched with suicide and those struggling with thoughts of suicide and mental illness.  

Prayer is a wonderful way to unite people of faith and it also facilitates action! For the rest of the month, watch for articles on events and ways you can get involved to help prevent someone from doing the unthinkable. There is help available and we can be part of someone's decision to choose life! Here are some organizations that can help someone in crisis.

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