Last Saturday, I ran in The Humboldt Mile. A one mile (timed!) race to raise funds of and awareness of Hope For The Day’s Proactive Suicide Prevention programs. It seems pretty insignificant that my $25 entry free and my 10ish minutes of running would do much to help suicide prevention, right? Since I ran my eight-minute, sixteen-second mile, we’ve lost a groundbreaking fashion icon and a world-renowned chef, author, & storyteller by suicide.
These are the names you hear. These are the products you own. The shows you watch. Now everything has the all-too-early posthumous tag, or “since their death”, associated with it.
However, there are thousands more every day that die to suicide. The world will never know them by name or face. But they do matter to their friends, their family, their loved ones. The thousands of souls will never fill our heart with their laughter again, never walk through our hallways, or meet us for dinner. All due to the time on this Earth being cut short, way too short.
This is why we have to have these conversations to break the stigma of mental health, mental illness, and the healthcare access necessary for the support and treatment of both. It’s good to have the conversation when a name we recognize is in the news. But it’s even better to have the conversation on a random Thursday without any Hollywood headlines or famous people attached, completely removed from the 24-hour news cycle.
Have the hard conversations. Reach out to your struggling friend. Reach out to your strong friend. Break the stigma.
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