Our Howl readers know well we strive to demystify and start conversations about mental health and the stigma surrounding it. This is one of the pillars we build our magazine around. Today, September 10th, is National Suicide Prevention Day. The stats remain alarming– In the last 45 years suicide rates have increased by 60% worldwide. Suicide is now among the three leading causes of death among those aged 15-44.
It is not uncommon to have considered suicide as an option at one point in life, however, if this thought persists and deepens, you must seek help immediately. There are so many wonderful (free!) resources in the world to help you cope with depression and mental illness– the complexity of the issue (one of many) lies within the depressed person feeling like they can't access those resources because they can barely get out of bed.
I've found in my personal experience that tiptoeing around the term Suicide is something most of us do out of "respect" and is unproductive at best. Of course this situation requires a gentle, loving approach, and while avoiding the subject mostly comes from a well-intentioned place (not wanting to bring it up to the depressed person, thinking this will trigger them or upset them further), being direct, such as directly asking "are you having suicidal thoughts?", can lead to more practical, tangible steps in the right direction. I find it therapeutic for both parties to be able to say the word suicide aloud. I say both parties because (most of the time, but sadly not always) where there is a suicidal person, there is someone worried sick trying to help. If you are the person that is worried sick; let the person know you see them, you hear them, and while perhaps they might not want to talk to you about their condition, you are there to offer a helping hand or throw them a lifeline. Because that's all we can do when we know someone in distress who might be considering taking their own life; offer to do a bit of the work they feel they cant– such as researching therapists, rehab centers, group meetings, or any other resources and creative solutions that may apply to your particular situation. Depression comes in as many forms as human beings, and there's no one right or wrong approach– it can be a scary gray area. But it all starts with a clear conversation.
Below are some of the pieces we've written on mental health, depression & suicide, and we encourage you to re-visit them if you find yourself struggling or might know someone who is. We also want to remind you that at Howl Magazine we are here to help, and if you feel you have no one in your life able to help you, please reach out to us and we will do out best to help you find resources within your community to get through this dark spot. Check out a small compilation of our mental health pieces below.
If you're struggling with suicidal thoughts, call
1-800-273-8255 for free now.