Somebody, somewhere in the world, kills themselves every 40 seconds.
Set a timer on your phone or watch for 40 seconds. When it beeps, another precious, beloved life is gone.
Yesterday, September 10, was World Suicide Prevention Day. Although suicide prevention entails important things like improving mental health screening and treatment, increasing access to mental health services, and decreasing the stigma of admitting and treating mental health problems, I think there’s another part that we usually miss when we talk about prevention. And that part is understanding what being suicidal is really like.
Those who kill themselves (or wish to do so) are not selfish.
They are not weak.
They are not simply having a bad day.
All of these tropes about suicide, and many others, are wrong.
I can only speak for myself, not for any of the other millions of people who have struggled with this most ultimate of dilemmas. But for me, at least, here is what it was really like.