This week is National Suicide Awareness week, and with Robin Williams’ death having sparked more than a few national discussions, many people who may not otherwise be discussing suicide or mental illness are doing so bravely, publicly, and importantly.
Suicide is not something we think will ever touch our lives. We are good parents to smiling children, we have all the things to make us happy ourselves, we are support systems for our friends. But the fact is that depression and other mental illnesses can take all of that and make it irrelevant. Suicide does touch the lives of many parents, children, siblings, and friends – one every 13 minutes, in fact.
As someone who suffered from postpartum depression after the birth of my second child and mild depression and anxiety my entire life, I know that depression can shadow all of those other goods in our lives. We don’t want to consider that our children may suffer or may need help, that our friends may be suffering without showing it to the world, or that even we may need more help than we are willing to acknowledge. But destigmatization of mental illness, awareness of the real facts about suicide, and a willingness to open up a dialogue are the only real ways to combat the issues.
This week, we will have several of our bloggers discussing depression, suicide, and mental illness, as well as a beautiful guest blog from a friend who lost her son to suicide. Please read our stories, take a look at the resources we’ll include, and share the content – because it’s important for all of us to be on the same side of this one.