There are so many people who are struggling with depression, anxiety disorders, thoughts of suicide and other mental illnesses that it can be overwhelming for us to think about. Most people won’t even tell their spouses, close friends or family members what they’re going through because of the shame associated with mental illness.

More and more we hear or read about suicides. It may be a co-worker, a friend from high school, or celebrities like Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade.

More and more we feel hopeless and helpless as suicide rates increase across our country. A 30% increase in the last 17 years alone.

While there is no single factor that leads a person to take their own life, experts agree that teaching people how to process loss and how to cope with difficult emotions are essential in suicide prevention.

We learn how to read, how to write. But we don’t necessarily learn how to cope. We don’t have a safety plan if things go bad in our life.

That’s the gap.

We can distract ourselves by looking at pictures of our kids and watching funny dog videos on Facebook.

But those funny dog videos can’t keep someone alive, they can only calm people down long enough to then use other coping strategies. Coping strategies they don’t necessarily have.

That’s when an organization like HopeWay can help close the gap with a safety plan. To help that person learn how to cope by becoming aware of inaccurate or negative thinking so they can view whatever challenges they’re facing more clearly and respond to them in a more effective way.

That safety plan and those set of coping tools can make a positive difference for someone struggling with thoughts of suicide.

Please help me do more to honor the memory of the 44,965 Americans who die each year by suicide by making a small donation to HopeWay.

 

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

 

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