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Suicide Prevention: Being Happy Means Nothing

Robin Williams, America’s most loved comedian, ended his life on August 11, 2014 for reasons we will never know. One month later and everyone is still mourning the actors’ death. His movies are still selling out online as well as in stores. In honor of Williams and many others that have taken their own lives, National Suicide Prevention week (September 8-13) is being hosted by the American Association of Suicidology. This years’ Prevention Week is expected to have a great outcome. In recent years, suicide has tripled in numbers for reasons that many Americans may never understand. Does it take the loss of one of the greatest American actors to bring attention to an issue that has been around for ages? Apparently so.

Social media will take the world by storm after it is discovered a teen has committed suicide, but eventually those stories begin to disappear and are ultimately forgotten. After Williams’ death was officially ruled has a suicide, the National Suicide Hotline hit a record number of incoming calls. Not only were those calls from people needing help, they were calls from people asking to help. Websites such as Twitter and Facebook have not quieted down since the death of Robin and none of us saw this one coming. Robin Williams was in a place darker than most will ever encounter. Some call him selfish and arrogant and those people are the ones who frighten those who are suffering in the mutual dark place that Williams knew. As friends, as a community, and as a nation we need to stand up and help the ones who need it most. Our friends.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death in people aged 15-24, and that statistic is going to continue to grow if we don’t do something. What most of us don’t realize is that even the happiest of souls can be the darkest. 

WAYS YOU CAN HELP: Wednesday, September 10, 2014, is National Suicide Prevention Day and it is encouraged to wear PURPLE on that day, in honor of all those who have taken their own lives. Donate to the American Association of Suicidology, talk to your peers if they are having a rough time, and please do not ignore their cries for help.

No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.” -Robin Williams

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