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Let’s talk about suicide

Written by Lara

Happy Monday, Blue Skies Mag-ers! It is me, your editor Lara, here to ask you to help me help others*. I’m running the Disneyland 1/2 Marathon to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and if you want to, you can donate to my campaign here: afsp.donordrive.com/participant/lara.

You can donate directly to AFSP too, it doesn’t have to have anything to do with me: www.afsp.org/get-involved/make-a-donation

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I signed up back in February to help this charity for a lot of reasons. I’ve had suicidal thoughts myself. Some close friends have been touched by suicide. I volunteer with kid’s grief groups and a lot of them have lost parents and family to suicide. As my training for the race has ramped up, I’ve sort of lost sight of why I’m running it. Steve’s death last week at Skydive San Diego brought it back into sharp focus though.

My primary goal isn’t the money, although that will certainly help AFSP. I want to talk about suicide prevention and mental health. I want people to know that AFSP exists. I want to show people that you can be a happy person, running through Disneyland, and still talk about suicide prevention.

We got these cool jerseys to wear during the race. Here I am wearing it on the treadmill at Planet Purple where it is roughly 119 degrees:

And there is space on the back for us to write who we’re running for, or a message:

If you have someone you’d like me to run in honor of, please let me know! Either here in the comments or at lara@blueskiesmag.com.

Other ways to help:

  • Get involved with AFSP: www.afsp.org/get-involved
  • Erase the stigma of mental illness and suicide by talking about it. Share your stories and struggles and listen to others without judgment.
  • Ask for help. From your friends, family, mental health professionals, coaches, teachers, anyone. Don’t be ashamed if you’re having a hard time. There are more people who care without judgment than there are people who will think less of you for it.
  • Give help. Really listen when you ask people how they’re doing. Avoid saying things like, “You have so much to live for,” or “Think about how this will hurt your family.” Instead, show concern and compassion by saying, “Things must really be awful for you to be feeling that way.” Let them know you are there to listen.

* I cannot stress how much I avoid asking people for help. Everyone is raising money for worthwhile charities, and I don’t want to bother people so I haven’t used this here platform to solicit for my particular one. But screw it, it’s our platform and at this point I’m just shortchanging my selected charity by not using it, right?

6 Comments

  • What a brave thing to highlight and it’s hardly ever talked about. Good on you for being so honest and letting people know about a great organization.

  • Bravo! Well Done!

    I have been a jumper for 7 years. I have known four jumpers to die in that time. Only one of them died jumping. TWO died from overt suicide. One died in ambiguous circumstances that might or might not have been suicide. This problem is HUGE and well deserving of the attention that you are bringing to it.

  • Fantastic cause! Unless people know about these things through experience then how can we learn to be non predudice and help those who need us. Taking away the ‘stigma’ attached to mental health is a real good place to start!! I’ve hit my personal rock bottom and have vowed never to go back, so ii talk openly about it and let people know its ok to ask if you think someone is having a hard time after all it could save a life! X

  • Such a permanent “solution” to what are always temporary problems. We’ve all lost friends to suicide, usually them thinking no one cared. Let’s let everyone know we DO care, and that things will get better.

What do you think?