Day 2: Here is What You Can Do

On each day of National Suicide Prevention Week, the organization To Write Love On Her Arms creates opportunities through suggested tasks to spread the message of hope and help. Yesterday was World Suicide Prevention Day, when everyone who purchased one of their awareness packs was encouraged to wear their shirts, bracelets, and pins and take a picture to post on social media websites.

Today, on the anniversary of one of America’s darkest days, TWLOHA urges us to learn about the warning signs of suicide and encourages us to ask the hard questions that may save someone’s life. The following graphic was provided by their website, with information from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and includes signs recognizable in the things someone says, does, and feels.

Graphic retrieved from TWLOHA

TWLOHA also links us to the Foundation’s page on suicide risk factors and warning signs, which goes more in depth about the aforementioned information.

It is their hope, as well as mine, that you would learn about this information so that you are better equipped to help the people in your life who may be struggling. It may even help you recognize the signs in yourself, which can simultaneously be the scariest and relieving thing. On one hand, you may realize what to call the darkness you’ve been in and realize you need help. On the other hand, there is a name for that darkness, and you are never alone in the struggle against it.

It’s important to keep an eye out for these signs in ourselves and the people around us, because help is so near and yet so far when the issue remains unaddressed. We must ask if someone is thinking of hurting themselves and/or taking their own life, because even if its uncomfortable or scary to do, help is right there for the the taking. TWLOHA assures people in their Day 2 page that “contrary to popular belief, your questioning won’t drive someone to suicide,” which is a worry I’ve experienced in these types of situations. Don’t be afraid to open a dialogue with someone, because as uncomfortable and scary as it might be, it could prove to be the turning point they’ve needed and wanted for longer than you realize. If that person is you, reach out to someone and tell them what you’re feeling.

Remember: Suffering this way doesn’t mean you deserve to feel this pain. You are worthy of help and healing, and whether you stand to help someone else or yourself, reaching out is absolutely worth it.




World Suicide Prevention Day 2017

On this blog, I do my best to end each post on a positive note. No matter what the content, I try to see the silver lining in each situation. This is also how I navigate life, how I figure out how to make it through the storms of life. As with my posts, however, there are times when finding the silver lining is harder to do. I claw my way out of darkness towards a promising light, only to find I’m in yet another mirage. There’s no telling how many times I’ll get back up when I fall, but at some point I do feel like staying down. I hide myself away because acting on hope seems foolish—all the fight leaves me, and I just want to block out everything and everyone. If I stayed down forever, though, I would never have discovered the treasures in life—experiences, people, stories I would never heard because I would not have been around to live through them.

This year, the non-profit organization called To Write Love On Her Arms is once again putting on a campaign to prevent suicide and encourage communication that could lead to both education and healing. This year’s motto is: “Stay. Find what you were made for.” For more information on the premise of this year’s message and other pertinent information, I welcome you to read Jamie Tworkowski’s blog post about the campaign, which will last the entirety of National Suicide Prevention Week.

The non-profit sells packs of items for use during the campaign, which can be found via their store. You can also fundraise or donate, and start conversations online to spread the message (all of these options are linked to in the blog post link provided in the last paragraph). There is a way for everyone to participate, even if that means engaging with the people in your life on a face-to-face basis. What matters is that you talk, and that you let people know there is hope—even if the only person you remind happens to be yourself.

To be clear, I wasn’t asked to promote this campaign or TWLOHA. I am passionate about the organization and its cause, and I write about both in order to inform and equip people who may want to participate in this. When they had a street team back in 2013, I joined in order to not just help others, but also to help myself. I help construct my basis for survival in the quotes and art shared on their social media pages, and I believe in healing because of them.

World Suicide Prevention Day is September 10, and TWLOHA provides activities for each day of National Suicide Prevention Week.