13 Reasons Why. Kate Spade. Anthony Bourdain.
Suicide has been all over the news and social media the past 6 weeks. If you have missed it, you weren’t paying attention. Or you have been trying to avoid it. But it’s an important conversation to have and to keep having.
As I read through articles related to 13 Reasons Why for our upcoming Teen Life Podcast series and scrolled through articles about Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, I noticed a trend. Somewhere in the article (often at the bottom) was a disclaimer. It went something like this:
How to get help: In the US, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The International Association for Suicide Prevention and Befrienders Worldwide also can provide contact information for crisis centers around the world. (via CNN.com)
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “help” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org. (via people.com)
Both of these disclaimers have value and I believe should be included in media articles related to those who have died by suicide. It is definitely an improvement over nothing. It starts a conversation about suicide prevention and awareness – which we need. However, there needs to be more. As a friend of mine pointed out recently on social media:
“Reaching out isn’t always gonna happen. It. Ain’t. That. Simple…if we’re depending on the hurt to “reach out,” we’re doing it wrong. We’re a community. Communities have to reach in to help those who are hurting.”
Reach in. Show up. Be in community. Look for warning signs. Ask hard questions. Be patient. Persist.
A few questions to ponder:
- Who is in your community? Do I need to expand my community?
- Who are you concerned about that you need to check on?
- Do you know the warning signs for suicide?
- Am I teaching the youth I live/work with to be in community? To reach out? To ask each other hard questions about suicide?
I’ll finish with more words of from my friend above:
“None of this is simple. None of this is easy. The starting point of this conversation is awareness and suicide prevent. But if we leave it there, we failed. Reach In.”