In the three years since I started this blog, I’ve gained more and more courage to talk about many topics in the mental health field. Every September I try to do a few posts for Suicide Prevention Awareness Month to help raise awareness, education, and resources. I’m also trying to write a post on World Suicide Prevention Day that tries to bring the discussion to the fore (the 2020 post can be found here). And while I’m proud to be able to speak on this topic, I also think that I’ve been pretty harsh with myself in the past because I thought I wasn’t qualified to speak about suicide prevention. However, recently I learned how wrong I was – and where to go from here.
Whether it’s low self-esteem, cheater syndrome, or some other reason, sometimes I find it hard to feel safe talking about mental health. Even though I’ve been writing on this subject for the past three years and having learned so much about mental health advocacy and education, I still have doubts about what I have learned. And while I know that I always struggle with it somehow, I often forget the advice I often give – that each of us has a role to play when it comes to mental health. In particular, each of us also has a role to play in suicide prevention.
Questions: “What can we do?”
Some of the inspiration for this post came from a very good post by a blogging friend who asked the question, “Who is responsible for suicide prevention?” (If you have a minute this will be a very helpful post written for World Suicide Prevention Day). First, I want to point out the importance of people asking this question and looking for answers. By listing the many ways we can help, Caz and other bloggers create opportunities for us to find out where we can help with suicide prevention.
This post was very good for a lot of reasons, and one more thing was that I was thinking about two very important memories related to suicide prevention. The first point that I said earlier and that will continue to preach is this Everyone has a role to play in suicide prevention. But the second point is the one I need to remember more often and that is that we all have to play a role The role we play in suicide prevention is different for everyone.
Your role in suicide prevention is just that – YOURS!
Convincing people that they have a role in suicide prevention isn’t easy, but to be honest, it’s not a debate either. Each and every one of us has a role to play. It can be as simple as sharing a post on social media or texting someone to catch up. This idea that we must all act against suicide in every possible way is difficult to implement because, like other areas of awareness or advocacy, we all have our own skills for this work. But a little can go a long way. By continuing the conversation and seeing where we fit into this work, we strengthen each other in the fight against suicide. And if you ever have any questions, there are plenty of people out there to help.