Right now, bc the prevailing erroneous belief about suicide is: it’s always a “choice”…shame, unfortunately, remains a big part of the equation.
There are campaigns out there like: “I’d rather hear your story than attend your funeral.” Another doozie: “Think about who you’d be hurting if you made that decision.”
These campaigns make it so that the perception is – all/most suicides are someone’s CHOICE…as if there is a pros & cons list that they labor over for months, making a “decision” bc there are more cons than pros.
Then bc this is the prevailing misunderstanding, families are afraid to share that loved ones passed to suicide. Deaths are covered up in mystery, & the overall impact is – nothing changes, bc shame still prevents ppl who feel the ideations down the road, from ever opening up & asking for help.
It’s why I/we are so focused on encouraging folks with LIVED experiences related to suicidal ideations, to open up & share their stories.
There are those of us who have felt the gripping pull of the intense ideations & never attempted. There are those who have felt the pull & survived the attempt(s).
In either case, it’s SO important we open up & share these experiences – talk about things like the stat shared in the slide: these impulse urges are most often NOT things we choose. They happen TO us, after the accumulation of stress & trauma over time. They FEEL overwhelming TO us.
If we can normalize that understanding – how much of the suicide equation is how our body (brain) breaks – just like it does with things like heart attacks, strokes, liver failure, etc., we start to erode shame. If we do that, more & more will ask for help.
I/we want a society where it’s ok for a stranger to grab our hand & say “I’m having those thoughts…I need you to help me & keep me safe right now.” When we get there – is when we will see these numbers decrease.
The beauty is, WE can be a part of this solution. More on this topic, the rest of this month. So important to openly discuss.