Suicide Awareness Day tends to sneak up on me. It's a day that it's hard. Sometimes hitting me right in the gut, sometimes bringing waves of emotion.
Mental health is so close to my heart, something that I've struggled with, fought, won, lost and won again. It's my passion. It's my demon.
But here I am. Finally on the other side of the mountain, in a position to help others fight their battles and work through their own journeys.
So many people struggle. They may be open about it or they may be hiding behind a smile. People handle depression, grief and anxiety in so many different ways. Check on them. No. Matter. What.
Take the time to ask your friends how they are doing. Be sincere. Be kind. Listen. For a long time, I was able to hold it together - until I wasn't. The battle began. Over ten attempts later, I'm still here. I'm happy. I'm empowered. I'm healthy. It took a long time to get here and a having a support system that takes the time to check in has been a huge factor in my recovery.
Not everyone has that. So please, be that person. Reach out. Even if you haven't talked to them in awhile, be the friend who says hi. You never know whether or not it could be a game changer for someone.
If you or someone you know is struggling, please reach out. If you don't have anyone, I'm here. Another great resource is 7 Cups of Tea, a website and app that allows you to chat with peers that have gone through similar experiences. It's an amazing resource to use when you are not in crisis.
If you are considering suicide or self harm, please get help. Check yourself into a psychiatric hospital, a resource that saved my life more than once. Look into a Respite to recharge. Look into resources through NAMI. Or use these resources for suicide prevention:
National Suicide Prevention Line: 1-800-273-8255
Lifeline Chat: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/
More than anything, remember that you are worth it. You have a purpose and a beautiful life ahead of you. Don't let your story end.