My Favorite Bit of Information From The Week:
National Suicide Prevention Month
If you are someone you know are struggling, call the National Suicide Hotline available 24/7 and connect to free resources and support: Call 1-800-273-8255 . There are also options for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and a line for Spanish speakers on their website.
This topic is near and dear to my heart. Having lost one of my best friends to suicide, and being at risk myself several times. National Suicide Prevention month is a concentrated time to talk about this national health crisis and remove some of the stigma. While it’s important to talk about the topic all year, having this month allows us to focus on (and greater grow) our community and understanding.
The statistics are staggering with regards to suicide in our world today: 1 in 4 people report a mental health crisis in their life. Globally, over 800,000 suicides are reported each year, with many more going unreported. In the US alone, over 121 individuals complete suicide on a daily basis. Just in 2016 (according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention) it is estimated that 45,000 individuals lost their lives to suicide- with only close to half being diagnosed with a mental health condition.
However, There is Hope, and it’s OK to not be OK. I love this sentence created by one of my favorite organizations Hope For The Day. When I lost my friend and required more information, they were the most accessible and affordable option I found. Suicide is a treatable crisis, but we all need to show up for the solution. When we openly talk about suicide, and we take off the societal stigma surrounding it – stigma being defined as “a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person” – then we encourage a diagnosis and help early on, we open up the room to have a conversation. Often times all it takes to stop someone from suicidal completion is to have another person ask “are you having suicidal thoughts?”, or to genuinely ask how they are doing and then listen to their response.
Depression, one of the leading causes for suicide, is easily treatable with both therapy and medication; however, you have to know you are dealing with it, and be comfortable enough removing any stigma you may have, to get treated. It took me over 23 years before I found help or knew what I was dealing with. To see different types of depression, I found this video particularly helpful.
There are several exciting events happening this month for FREE in the city of Chicago to support National Suicide Prevention Month! If you are in Ohio, or another state please note that some of the following links are available online. I can also research a couple options in your location if you are interested and need help finding them. Let me know!
How can you participate in National Suicide Prevention Month?: Oh, there are so many ways! You can attend one of the many amazing educational events going on in your community this month. I have listed some for Chicago below. You can post about it on social media or have coffee with a friend and chat about it, since spreading awareness and de-stigmatizing suicide and mental health is one of the most effective means of suicide prevention. You can donate to the organization of your choosing, since there are many excellent organizations doing great work right now. I have listed a few in this post. Or, you can volunteer! I’ve also a few options listed below.
Conversations Summit. This Saturday Sept. 7th – FREE: This Summit is geared toward youth, but everyone can benefit from attending and there is no age limit! The Conversations Summit features Education Sessions that will equip youth with knowledge on how to take action and drive the conversation on the intersections of mental health in social, academic, and work environments. The Education Sessions are produced by youth ages 12-24 and feature interactive presentations and diverse perspectives on a spectrum of topics. It’s never too early to start talking about mental health. Join the conversation and break the silence with us! Together we can positively impact the future of mental health. Check out the official website to sign up and for a more detailed breakdown of the day.
Signs Someone May Be In Need of Support/How To Support: This is one of my favorite resources on Hope For The Day’s Website. Useful all year round.
Hope For The Day & National Suicide Prevention Action Month Proclamation Thursday Sept. 5th 5:00-8:00 PM: Join Kayhan and Haworth for this very special Speaker Series. Our speakers will address mental health and suicide head-on, empowering others to Speak Out, Debunk Societal Stigmas, and find empowerment in a grassroots effort to accept that ‘It’s OK to Not Be OK.’ This has been a taboo topic far too long, and we are honored to have Joel Frieders and Jonny Boucher present.
Out of the Darkness Chicagoland Walk. Sept. 21st 11:00 AM- 1:00 PM: American Foundation For Suicide Prevention Walk held in Chicago Every year. Check out their website for more information and to sign up!
If You Want to Donate Time/Money For Suicide Research and Education: The following organizations are all legit and doing amazing work in the community. There are options for free education, volunteering, and financial donations for each. I encourage you to check out their websites to see what best suits you. If you have questions about any of them please feel free to reach out to me.
1. One Woman Hamlet: It’s always weird to put yourself for these things, but One Woman Hamlet needs support and will be used to educate youth in the schools of Chicago and the local community.
2. Hope For The Day: “Suicide is a preventable mental health crisis. The primary obstacle to suicide prevention is silence. Proactive suicide prevention means starting the conversation on mental health before it adversely impacts our lives. At Hope For The Day, we strive to eliminate the highest risk factors of suicide through outreach, mental health education, and community action.”
3. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: The lifeline is the only one of its caliber and is available 24/7 year round. “In 2018, the Lifeline answered over 2.2 million calls from people across the United States. Your generosity helps us strengthen our growing infrastructure, support Lifeline callers, and change the conversation around suicide prevention.”
4. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: If you are passionate about contributing to research this group may be for you. ” In 1987, a small group of caring individuals had a vision: establish a private source of support for suicide research and education, and essential suicide prevention efforts could be sustained into the future. These founding families—each of whom had lost a someone to suicide—joined with scientists to create what today is the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, or AFSP.”
5. Have a Cup Of Coffee at Sip Of Hope: The Countries only cafe that donates 100 percent of the profits to Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Education!
Update On My Show:
Weekly Updates: Almost there on announcing the official fundraiser date! Also, we have a few more volunteer counselors that have been generous enough to donate their time towards the project! Lastly, more and more edits have been added to the script – very exciting! A big week all in all.
Fundraising: The project is free for audiences and therefore is completely independently funded – any support is appreciated! If you have already donated, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, you have made it possible to get this far. And if you are not in a place to give a dollar right now, thank you for being here and being a part of breaking the stigma on mental health. Much love!If you would like to donate to my show, share this project with a friend, or find out more about it please check out my gofundme here.
Please check out the One Woman Hamlet Website: www.onewomanhamlet.com
AND! my update Video.
Many, Many thanks: Margo Siwak and Joe Siwak for the design of the logo, and to Jillian Best and Bill Best for the Website creation and Design! I feel very blessed to have such beautiful humans in my life.
Ways to Support: If you would like to donate to my show, share this project with a friend, or find out more about it please check out my gofundme here: https://www.gofundme.com/one-woman-hamlet
Thank You: Thank you VERY much to all who have donated thus far, making this project possible.