Today is Worldwide Suicide Prevention Day. On this day, we are reminded of the lives we have so tragically lost to suicide.
We are also left with these questions: What can we do to change this? How can I prevent a suicide? How can I save a life?
Because suicide is such a complex and deeply rooted issue, unfortunately, a one-size-fits-all solution simply doesn't exist.
So, what can we do?
Well, I think we can start by looking inside ourselves and asking some pretty important questions: If someone who was hurting turned to me today, would I help? If someone tried to talk to me, would I listen? If someone was suffering, would I be there for support?
Instinctively, we all want to say "yes" to these questions. But the truth is, in matters of life and death, good intentions aren't good enough.
You not only need to have the tough conversations -- you need to start them.
On the outside, it's easy to appear happy. On the inside, so many are walking through life with a heavy heart. So if you are serious about trying to make a difference, you can't settle for the surface. You need to go deep. And going deep starts with honest conversations.
Ask the awkward questions. Be OK with making things uncomfortable.
Be brave enough to say the first words, so that someone else's last words aren't "I felt all alone."
We aren't alone. We have each other. We have family. We have community. There is support. There is help available. And people are getting healthier.
Don't wait for someone else to take the first step. Don't opt out of the tough conversations just to stay comfortable. Get uncomfortable.
And most importantly, don't hold your tongue, because you have the potential to touch someone's heart.