Yesterday I heard about an issue that happened on Good Morning America on Friday. Last week was National Suicide Prevention Week. To cap off the week a group from American Foundation for Suicide Prevention went to GMA to be in the audience outside. They went to be a voice for suicide awareness and to stop the stigma. In the end they were asked to get out of the view of the camera because GMA (or the representative that talked to them) said it was the top of the hour and they didn’t want suicide on the brain. AFSP has encouraged individuals to tweet to GMA with the hashtag #suicideonthebrain.
I got into a Facebook discussion with a friend (which is never a good idea). This friend is also a suicide survivor. We were seeing the situation from two completely different perspectives and he made the comment that he doesn’t understand how more anger and outrage is helping anything. I absolutely agree that anger is not ever the answer.
I have thought about his words and the situation. I realized anger was not my emotion. My emotion about the situation was one of disappointment and more than anything reading the article made me tired. I am tired because what happened on Friday at GMA is a reflection of society. As a society, we don’t want suicide on the brain. As a society, we want to brush mental health aside. As a society, we want to ignore suicide. As a society, we continue to put shame, guilt, and darkness on suicide. Honestly, GMA was merely a reflection of society’s stance on suicide.
What happened made me realize we, as a society, are so far away from where we need to be to address the issue of suicide and mental health. I am compelled more now than ever to be a voice for suicide awareness and prevention. Everytime I share, others who have never felt the ability to discuss the topic, open up about how suicide impacts them.
Over the last day I have spent time reading tweets with the hashtag #suicideonthebrain and it has been moving. At first it is paralyzing to see how many are touched by suicide, but then I gain hope as I realize how many individuals feel the freedom to open up and share their experience. Do I think it was unfortunate what happened Friday? I do. Is it amazing to see the voices of suicide awareness rise up? Not only is it amazing, it is powerful… but that is what you do when you have been touched by suicide. When your mom dies by suicide, you learn life is full of disappointments, but you also learn the key is making the most of what is left. That is what has happened… a group of individuals are making the most of the situation by raising their voice.
It isn’t about Good Morning America… it is about being a voice, it is about not loosing hope, it is about persevering so others will not be hurt by suicide.