There was a point in my life where I was tired. I was hurting. I was broken. I found myself angry and alone, asking myself over and over if this was all my life was going to be. Every day I woke up was a day in which I struggled to exist. My soul ached, longing to cry out and scream, “HELP ME,” yet I just could not muster enough courage to physically speak those words out loud. I wanted someone to notice I was hurting, to tell me that I mattered to them. When it happened, I never told anyone about my suicide attempt. It’s not that I did not want to live, I just wanted the pain to go away and I had run out of all hope that it would. Yet, I am still here today, reaching out to those souls who feel the same way. I have been there, and I have come back. I am willing to walk in the dark with those who cannot yet see the light in their darkness. I am thankful that God loved me when I didn’t love myself.
Here at Celebrate Recovery we are working to spread awareness of the importance of mental health. For so long, people have sat in our seats, attended our groups, and have walked in with a smile, leaving with a smile. They hold the pain in, failing to relate to others in their struggle, failing to hear anyone else speaking of their same struggle. In Celebrate Recovery, we have told those struggling with mental health issues that we could not help them, turning them away to face that darkness and find help on their own. Those struggling with thoughts of suicide were afraid to talk about those feelings due to the stigma surrounding suicide as well as the perceived inability of the CR family being able to help them. We have let too many people walk around, struggling in silence. It’s time to break that silence.
September 10th, 2017 is World Suicide Prevention Day, and we want to help make a difference in the lives of those struggling, to help end the tragedy of suicide. Here are some statistics:
- Suicide is the 10thleading cause of death in the US for all ages. (CDC)
- Every day, approximately 105 Americans die by suicide. (CDC)
- There is one death by suicide in the US every 13 minutes. (CDC)
- Depression affects 20-25% of Americans ages 18+ in a given year. (CDC)
- Suicide takes the lives of over 38,000 Americans every year. (CDC)
- Only half of all Americans experiencing an episode of major depression receive treatment. (NAMI)
- 80% -90% of people who seek treatment for depression are treated successfully using therapy and/or medication. (TAPS study)
- An estimated quarter million people each year become suicide survivors (AAS).
- There is one suicide for every estimated 25 suicide attempts. (CDC)
- There is one suicide for every estimated 4 suicide attempts in the elderly. (CDC)
- More women attempt suicide, yet more men die by suicide
- There has been an increase in child and adolescent suicides due to social media
The theme for this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day is “take a minute to change a life.” It’s our responsibility to check in with those in our community. Take a minute to talk to at least five people you don’t normally talk to. Tell them they matter. You could save a life.
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicide, take action! Call the National Suicide Hotline at (800)273-8255 or to reach the Crisis text line text START to 741741. You matter.
April Brantley, Mental Health Team X Factor