World Suicide Prevention Day
It’s World Suicide Prevention Day.
The first time I seriously thought about suicide was in 2011 after a friend died by suicide just three months shy of our high school graduation.
It’s been 2,749 days since I last saw her.
In that time, I’ve lost many more classmates and met people who have lost loved ones to suicide. It wasn’t something on TV or movies anymore – it was right here in front of me. I just didn’t take the time to see it before.
Death by suicide is the ultimate Stage 4 event in the progression of many mental health conditions, whether they have ever been recognized and labeled.
People don’t just go from being perfectly healthy one day to having suicidal ideation the next, just as they don’t go from being perfectly healthy one day to having any other late stage chronic condition the next.
We have time to prevent many suicides from happening. But we must intervene early. We can’t always wait for the medical diagnoses to catch up with people’s lived experiences.
That’s why in 2014, Mental Health America (MHA) launched our online screening program. Since then, we’ve screened over 3.5 million people around the country and have implemented screening programs in community centers, workplaces, and schools.
You can help support MHA’s screening program and help prevent suicide at its earliest stages – long before the Stage 4 crisis point. When people do struggle in the moment, we can reach them and give them comfort and the supports that they want and need.
Let’s make this World Suicide Prevention Day the day we come together and say “no more.” We can start bending the suicide curve in the opposite direction. Join us.
Jennifer Cheang Digital Marketing Manager Mental Health America