Today is World Suicide Prevention Day, part of National Suicide Prevention Week which kicked off on Sunday. This is a subject that is close to my heart for several reasons, so I wanted to share some of the ways that each of us can participate in the movement.
This is the 39th year that NSPW has rallied to speak up for and reach out to those people whose lives might feel meaningless or not worth the fight. The theme this year is “You cannot be replaced.” A great many organizations have backed the cause. Whether the effects of suicide have touched your life personally or you simply want to advocate for the will to live, I urge you to share this message somehow. There are many ways you can get involved with the movement.
1. Purchase a Suicide Prevention Day pack
I’m not normally the type to “buy the t-shirt” and I’m currently waiting for mine in the mail, but I personally think this message is succinct, powerful, and speaks to the heart of those affected by a suicide: the people we lose and the ones who suffer from life-stealing bouts of depression are people we love and whose shoes will be impossible to fill. So if you are so moved, I’d recommend purchasing one of these packs (which include a print, a t-shirt, a bracelet, and info cards) by visiting the TWLOHA Store.
2. Share with Social Media
I’ve already changed my profile picture to the theme art for the year. Most of us are connected to at least one, if not countless more, social media outlets. Share a story. Share your outreach and awareness actions. Share the event, especially by using the tags #NSPW13 or #WSPD13. Follow To Write Love On Her Arms on Twitter and Instagram at @TWLOHA. What better way to share the message than to make it viral?
You can do this in a number of ways, so just allow the links to be your guide if you want to back this financially.
4. Participate in an Event
Light a Candle on Tuesday, September 10 at 8 p.m.
Wear Orange this week to support the movement.
Wear a suicide awareness ribbon (purple and turquoise).
Check out this list of events that might be taking place near you.
The face of mental illness and depression might not be the one we would expect. It might be worn on someone’s sleeve, apparent to those who around them. In contrast, it might be well hidden behind a busy schedule or a smile. It might be difficult to know who is staring down a wall, feeling trapped by their own life or who might be less than satisfied and unsure what the point is. Perhaps you have felt this way yourself. My challenge this week, and every week, is that we learn to be more connected and more humane. There’s no radar for suicidal thoughts. However, I challenge you to ponder this: kindness, thoughtfulness, connectedness, and respect are a solid foundation on which we could begin to bridge the gaps in humanity. Are we satisfied to live in our own bubbles or do we care about our fellow man, just as we want to be cared about? To sum this up, I’ll share a quote from Buddha:
“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
Join the movement. Share the love.
Written by: Skya