Nathan Rolls and Lindsey Diamond
The topic of suicide is considered a taboo, so a lot of of discussion about it is withheld. September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, meaning the month is dedicated to raise awareness about the epidemic. In this case, more people can become informed about the signs a loved one is contemplating suicide, and help can be provided. Many mental health disorders can be moderated with the right help to save someone from taking their own life.
An abundance of resources in past years helped educate about suicide. “Thirteen Reasons Why” first came out as a book about a girl who committed suicide. The main character recorded all of the situations that overall contributed to her decision on tapes, and how the transparency of her suffering led to a progressively deeper demise. In March of 2017, “Thirteen Reasons Why” was produced into a Netflix series, garnering millions of views, and amassing more than 11 million tweets since its launch. The attention from this series brings awareness, and alleviates some restrictedness off of speaking freely about suicide.
The show and book “Thirteen Reasons Why” provided some missed signs that led to the main character’s suicide. These signs included
- Withdrawing or isolating themselves
- Giving away their possessions
- Extreme mood swings
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
- Increasing use of alcohol or drugs
Something the show “Thirteen Reasons Why” neglected to cover is the fact that there are helpful resources for those who are in emotional or suicidal distress. Help is available for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Help is available via a phone call, which can be accessed at 1-800-273-8255. Additionally, there is an online chat option that allows for you to talk with a professional via a computer. This chat can be accessed here. If you know or know of someone who needs help, this same program can provide you with the help someone else needs. These resources can be accessed here. The Lifeline provides helpers with a list of do’s and don’ts, some of which include:
- Be willing to listen. Allow expressions of feelings. Accept the feelings.
- Be non-judgmental. Don’t debate whether suicide is right or wrong, or whether feelings are good or bad. Don’t lecture on the value of life.
- Get involved. Become available. Show interest and support.
- Don’t dare him or her to do it.