Why Not Just Talk About It

By July 23, 2015Sylvia's Blog

It happens every 40 seconds somewhere in the world. In the U.S. alone, someone is successful at this every 13 minutes. Do you know what I’m referring to? I hesitate to tell you because once I say the word I fear you will stop reading this.

2-people-talking-cartoonIt’s something no one wants to talk about but should. Maybe if we spoke about it more it would happen less. Okay, here it goes, I’m talking about Suicide.

When you hear that word how does it make you feel? I feel sick to my stomach. I know when someone tells me about learning of a suicide or an attempt we tend to get quiet and whisper about it so no one else will hear. Typical reactions for most people are…”what a horrible thing…” “they seem so normal…” “it came as a shock… “were there any warning signs?” It leaves everyone dazed and confused.  Let’s face it, it’s a very sensitive topic. No one’s sure what to say or how to react.

I’m working on a prevention campaign for a hospital foundation through my company.  I personally have been touched by suicide involving people I care about a couple of times. Maybe even more. There’s a pretty good chance someone I know and even someone you know has been touched by this but never discussed it.

Suicide has such a stigma of shame. There are just too many families who have lost loved ones to suicide who are embarrassed, feel they have failed and as a result, don’t discuss it. But considering it’s the 3rd leading cause of death in the world for those ages 15-44 it’s time we opened a dialogue.

NAMI

 

In doing my research for this I have learned many things I want to share. To begin with, if you think someone is thinking about suicide take it seriously and don’t be afraid to ask. Asking won’t make them do it. It might help them realize someone cares.

 

Lora Thomas is the executive director of NAMI Illinois. The National Alliance of Mental Illness. She says there is a myth that talking about suicide might give the person the idea. “We would just say talk about it,” says Thomas.

Thomas says, “The death of Robin Williams put a face on suicide and had more people talking about it.” That’s because most people were shocked that this successful, famous comedian could take his own life.

robin-williams1-1024x680She adds 80-90% of people who attempt suicide are dealing with depression or a mental health issue. So more often than not it’s not something that just comes out of nowhere. That’s why communication is key. People who attempt suicide are dealing with a feeling of hopelessness.

Most people who contemplate or attempt suicide don’t want to die, they just want to stop hurting. And in many cases, they are deeply conflicted about ending their own lives. If you can show them concern and let them know it can get better it could be a life saver.

If talking about it can save a life, why not just talk about it?

Have you been close to someone who has attempted or committed suicide? If so, what’s the best advice you can give?

 

Sylvia Perez

About Sylvia Perez

Sylvia Perez is an Emmy Award winning broadcast journalist, news and health reporter, and major market anchor. Her expertise in revealing the personal side of headline stories and drawing their impact into “news you can use” viewership is now the foundation of Sylvia Perez Productions, a multi-faceted company specializing in video production and event planning for non-profits.

4 Comments

  • bobby says:

    Sylvia,this is a world problem.
    When I was younger I used to be in an environment were kids were very
    Suspectable to self destruct.
    Ricky behavior and easily persuade.
    I talked for hours with people. I.started my study in the mind field.
    But was scared off after visiting some institutions. Before Reagan closed most of them.If people every seen what I seen,they would think there life was a holiday. Your right suicde is a big problem.I might be gonna back
    If my body can’t handle the stress of playing music on the road.If this is successful, I.may start something
    For people. No one is exempt from suicide, and peers are no help.
    Sorry for rattling on,but it is important.
    God love Sylvia.
    Bobby Huffman

    • Sylvia Perez Sylvia Perez says:

      Hi Bobby, thanks for commenting. So important to get the dialogue going. Good luck with everything.

  • Laurette says:

    I just saw a video on Facebook this morning. It showed a man jumping to his death (actually shows him hitting the ground). Suicide is real.

    I have attempted suicide 8 times. Yes, I said 8. I felt my life was not worth living and that no one would miss me if I were gone. I just thank and praise God that He would miss me, or else he would have let me die.

    People really need to reach out to those they even mildly suspect of being depressed and talk with them. Help them find some sort of help – spiritual, psychological, physical – and stand by them through it all.

    I recall a story of a man while driving down a street, he decided to just wave and say hello to everyone he saw. At every street corner, he waved and smiled, and people who saw him thought he was out of his mind. At one point, he got out of his car to go into a store. While inside, he continued greeting and smiling at everyone. Finally, a man came up to him and asked him why he was doing that. His reply? He said a few weeks earlier, he was on the verge of committing suicide. He was walking to the store to get something to take to kill himself. Then he saw a man who simply smiled at him. He felt at that moment that for the first time someone noticed him. Someone saw him and acknowledged his presence. It was at that moment he chose not to kill himself.
    If more of us took a few seconds to look someone in the eye and just give them a smile, we could change the hearts and minds of so many people, especially those who may be on the verge of ending their life. Some just want to know someone else sees them.

    • Sylvia Perez Sylvia Perez says:

      Wow!Thank you for sharing. So sorry you have gone through such trying times. I’m glad you realize your life is worth living. Please don’t ever let that change.By talking about your experience, I really feel like others can be helped. Thank you again and good luck with everything you do. Sylvia

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