World Suicide Prevention Day allows us to come together to raise awareness and discuss ways to stop suicides from happening. So many of us have been affected by suicide in some way, and it can be difficult to talk about, but it’s a conversation we need to have.
It isn’t always obvious when someone is struggling or having suicidal thoughts. That’s why one of the best things we can do is to start a conversation about it. We can meet people where they are and sit with them in what they’re going through. We can give people a safe space to be honest and vulnerable about what they’ve been feeling, and we can encourage people to get help if it’s all too much.
There is a stigma around mental illness, and it isn’t something that will go away overnight, but it is something that we should fight against as hard as we can. We need to let people know that it’s okay to seek help, medication, or a combination of therapies to find their way back to being okay again. We need to let them know that they can make it through their darkest days and that we need them to stay. It is our chance to act with empathy and compassion when people are hurting or when they alienate themselves and pull away.
Poetry, like so many creative outlets, can help raise awareness about mental health and mental illness. It is an opportunity for people to feel heard and understood.
P. Bodi Poetry writes beautiful poems that shed light on mental illness. They may be words that resonate with you or that you can send to a loved one to read. Either way, these poems are a great way to get people talking. Suicide prevention starts with a conversation. May we continue to educate ourselves and grow in love and empathy to help our fellow humans fight the battles no one sees.
Let’s all make a habit of checking on each other. Check on your strong friends today. Check on your struggling friends. Don’t be fooled by smiles or tough exteriors. Pain can manifest itself in many ways and have many different faces. Check on yourself too. If you are struggling, please know that there are resources available. And, know that there is no shame in needing help. The world needs you to stay. The world needs us to help each other find our way back to being okay.
The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. For more resources, please visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org.