Each year, between 140,000 and 150,000 lives are lost to suicide in the United States, leaving families and friends to negotiate the landscape of grief. Depression and suicide know no gender, cultural, or economic boundaries. Suicide affects people of all ages and lifestyles, even young people, and its effects on family and community are devastating. Yet, suicide remains a taboo topic, and those who’ve considered or attempted suicide are often stigmatized, even when seeking help.
September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month—a time to broaden our shared knowledge of suicide and its causes, and to offer hope for those suffering with depression or suicidal thoughts.
Too often, a suicide attempt represents the end of a story—a life lost, a grieving family, and so many questions. But there is another way. Each year, millions who suffer from depression and suicidal thoughts find another path—one of compassion and caring, of mental health treatment and community.
As a way to focus on positive outcomes, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has shared some inspirational first-person accounts from people who’ve considered or attempted suicide and survived to lead rich and fulfilling lives. Here are just a few examples…
Recovery from depression or even a suicide attempt can take many forms. Kisha found a sense of support and peace through dance. “There was always physical violence in my family, so touch was always something that could be really bad,” she says. “[Dance] has been a really powerful journey. What really drives me… is that moment of peace before the music starts.”
For Halima, poetry offered an epiphany, a new way of looking at life. “I’ve always wondered what I would say to someone that’s standing on top of a building, about to jump. What would I say to make them take a step back.” It was Robert Frost’s poem, Stopping by Woods on a Summer Evening, that spoke to her and offered some clarity. “[Poetry] wasn’t a cure,” she says, “but it became my therapy when I didn’t have anything else.”
Jordan, a suicide attempt survivor, wants others to know they are not alone.
“You are not the only one going through these problems or ideas,” he says. “You can verbalize them and you can cope with them in a healthy way to get you through that.”
Leah, another suicide attempt survivor, remains focused on recovery. “Recovery is real. You can recover from this,” she says, “even if you have symptoms.”
Check out their site for more amazing inspirational stories!
People who are struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts often don’t feel safe to share their concerns with others. Yet often there are behaviors that can serve as clues that someone you love may need help.
– Withdrawal from social activities
– Loss of interest in family or hobbies
– Addictive behavior (substance abuse)
– A prior history of emotional trauma
– A prior history of physical or sexual abuse
Any or all of these factors can increase one’s risk for suicidal ideation. Fortunately, there is hope. Care centers around the country are changing the way they look at mental health and suicide, with a renewed emphasis on community care.
At Key Assets Kentucky, we understand the toll that depression and suicide can take on families and communities. Our trained compassionate counselors are here to listen and to help. The Key Assets Behavioral Health team offers an array of services including individual and group therapy, targeted case management, peer support specialists, and community support associates. Our team partners with each client and the client’s support system to provide meaningful treatment plans and to ensure that intervention efforts are tailored to meet individual and family needs.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, don’t delay. Contact Key Assets Kentucky today.