TalkLife Moderator Alice talks about how difficult suicide can be but how important it is that we talk about it.
“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.” - Hellen Keller
Friendship is, in my opinion, one of the simplest and truest pleasures we can experience. Having been a TalkLife user for almost four years now, I have had plenty of opportunities to meet people, and to make some truly amazing friends. I also wholeheartedly believe that friends become just as important as family. They are often the ones who are holding our hands and walking with us through the dark.
Today I would like to talk about one particular friend. His name is Derrick. The reason I am talking about Derrick today, is because he passed away on the 22nd of June 2015. Derrick’s death was not an accident; it was a suicide. He was just 28 years old. He was engaged, to a beautiful young woman named Brittany; whom he met on TalkLife and loved very much. He also had a gorgeous British Bulldog named Hank. He loved music, particularly playing the guitar and photography.
Derrick was an important part of my life, and is a big part of the reason that I’m writing this post. He is not, however, the only reason. I have seen suicide affect too many lives and families. The impact that suicide has, whether completed or attempted, is devastating. In my experience, most people attempting suicide underestimate the impact of their actions. This is a cause I am passionate about, and I want to help raise awareness of both the impact and prevalence of suicide; as well as how important it is to try and enrich the lives of others to try and prevent the degradation of mental health to the point where suicide seems like the only viable option.
I’d like to share some facts with you about suicide. In the United States there is an average of 117 suicides per day. Each year, 42,773 people die by suicide in the United States alone. It is estimated that for each death by suicide, there are an additional 25 attempts. These statistics, to me, are terrifying, and saddening. To think that each year, almost 43,000 families are grieving. Suicide is not pleasant to talk about, but it affects so many people, either directly or indirectly, that we need to be talking about it.
As a community, we need to be here for each other. TalkLife is a platform designed for sharing your difficulties and connecting with people. We can work together to improve the lives of others. Be kind. If you see a post with no comments, please take the time to reach out. Sometimes a single act of kindness is enough to save somebody’s life. Anything we can do to improve or enrich a life, even for a little while, is well worth the time and effort.
About Me: My name is Alice (username Ailyth), I am 24, married and a TalkLife Moderator. I have been using TalkLife for a little over 3.5 years. I joined TalkLife seeking support for my own mental illnesses, as well as seeking to connect with others and help them.
Statistics taken from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
If you or someone you know is in crisis, and potentially at risk of self harm or suicide, it is important to seek professional help NOW. Click here for links to emergency help.