Days of awareness, no matter the cause, could seem frivolous and ineffective. But power over that lies in the person who decides they will donate, volunteer or tell their story.
World Suicide Prevention Day is one such day of awareness that impacts your life in some way, whether you know it or not, and should be taken seriously.
The rate of death by suicide has consistently been rising.
Globally, more than 800,000 people die each year by suicide, says the World Health Organization. About 43,000 in 2014 were Americans. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for 10- to 34-year-olds in both Texas and the U.S.
Suicide should not have this much power.
World Suicide Prevention Day, an event that started in 2003, strives to bring awareness to preventable death and help reduce the stigma surrounding related mental health issues.
Some organizations, like To Write Love on Her Arms, fully embrace the day, using it as an important waypoint to get the conversation started on mental health and suicide.
The goal is to instill hope, making sure everyone knows they are not alone.
“Your story isn’t over. The air in your lungs is there for a reason. Let’s keep going. Let’s keep living,” TWLOHA founder and creative director Jamie Tworkowski wrote in a recent blog.
Other nonprofits, like the National Alliance on Mental Illness, bring local resources and support.
We want to bring mental health issues out of the shadows and increase access to treatment, said Greg Hansch, the public policy director for the NAMI Texas. Mental health issues can affect anyone, and there are resources to help.
The Texas affiliate of NAMI started in the 1984 and has 27 local affiliates throughout the state.
Each aims “to help improve the lives of people affected by mental illness through education, support and advocacy” says the organization’s website.
“We strive to ensure that people, as a whole, know that suicide is a big problem and an ongoing issue,” Hansch said.
Organizations shouldn’t be the only ones spotlighting this important issue. All Texans should.
We want people to come together and find a solution, Hansch said.
World Suicide Prevention Day is Sept 10.