You Matter


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The lotus flower symbolizes that there is beauty even in the darkest of places.

September is National Suicide Awareness Month. This is a widespread event that increases neccessary education and awareness on suicide, depression and mental health as a whole. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States for all ages and is the second leading cause for the 10-24 age group. These statistics do not even include attempted suicides across the board, both recorded and not. About 45,000 Americans die from suicide each year. Yet this only covers 18% of the whole worlds suicide deaths(800,000). 


Why is it that we struggle so much to diminish these numbers and help our fellow neighbors who are fighting this battle every single day? How is it possible that our friends, family, and peers stay silent and don’t tell anyone that they are struggling and want help? It is because there is still a huge stigma around mental health to this day. 


For years many people and organizations have tried to diminish the stigma that mental health is not that big of a deal, or depression can be “cured” just by going outside or hanging out with friends. That some people do not need medication and are “just being dramatic”. Depression is real. Mental disorders are real. However so many people continue to follow this stigma, unless they or someone they know has experienced it firsthand. 


Before we can even tackle this epidemic we need to acknowledge that it exists, it is current and consistent, and that it is a situation that needs to be addressed. One way you can do this is just to simply check up on the people in your life. Whether that is your friends, family, or peers, it always helps to know that you are seen. Someone can be going through so much without anyone knowing, and it is terrifying. It is hard to tell when someone might be struggling and needs help. Which is why it is always important to just be aware of how you treat people and certain situations. 


It is also very important to educate yourself and others who do not understand mental health issues or ways to help. We have access to so many articles and statistics online as well as organizations and using these to your advantage will help diminish the stigma greatly. Which is another reason why Suicide Awareness Month and week was created. Plenty of mental health advocates, survivors, organizations, and allies come together to promote suicide prevention. It is also a month to recognize those affected by suicide as well as those who have lost their battle with suicide. 


Taking care of yourself is extremely important as well and is not something to be ignored or forgotten. As i said before there’s still a huge stigma around mental health. Plenty of people are scared to reach out for help in fear of being seen as dramatic or feeling like no one cares, but there are so many people that want to help, no matter who you are. So as Suicide Awareness Month is upon us please remember to check in on your friends and family and to help them when needed. It is so important to try to combat this epidemic, especially when it is preventable.