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This month is National Suicide Prevention Month, and it’s a month I hold close to my heart. Unfortunately, suicide is one of the leading causes in death in teenagers and adults in their younger 20s. But it doesn’t just affect younger people. It affects people of all ages, genders, races, and backgrounds. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) nearly 800,000 people die from suicide a year alone. 

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. In 2018, almost 49,000 Americans died by a completed suicide and an estimated 1 million people made an attempt to end their lives. On average, there are over 100 suicides per day. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal ideations, thoughts, or actions, please do not be afraid to speak up to someone that you trust. 

About three years ago, I got to a point where I questioned my existence in the world. I felt so lost, hopeless, and alone. My whole world was crumbling in the palms of my hands and everything felt so out of reach. I felt like I had no direction, no purpose, and quite honestly didn’t want to be here. It was easily the lowest point of my life, and a type of pain I wish nobody ever had to feel. I had trouble seeing the positives, but I held on to this very tiny light. This article isn't about my story, however, these are the things I want someone to know if they feel like they are in a low place, or maybe need some encouragement today. These are some of the things I learned because I kept fighting and chose life.

Everyone will tell you is that it is going to be okay and I promise you are going to get tired of hearing it. I know I did because at the time nothing felt alright, but eventually, it will be okay. You are never, ever alone, even if you feel it. If you ever feel alone, your local county has a hotline set up with callers available at any time to talk to you. Early in the morning, at two in the afternoon, or at one in the morning. There’s also the National Suicide Hotline that was created for anyone who needs to talk. 

If you think nobody cares about you or that “nobody would miss me if I’m gone,” that is a lie. It is the biggest lie you can tell yourself. I can promise you, there is at least one person (or maybe even your dog or cat) that would be broken if you weren’t here anymore. There is at least one person in your life that would be devastated to wake up to find out their child, sibling, grandchild, niece, nephew, cousin, best friend, or whoever that you were no longer here. Your life is too precious to give up.

In case nobody told you today, your life matters. It always has, and it always will. You are beautiful, smart, hardworking, and kind. The world needs more of your light. You have a purpose in this chaotic world we live in today whether you believe it or not. Do not give up your fight. I promise there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Keep holding on. Remember to be kind to everyone you meet. You never know what someone is going through, and how much a simple smile or a "how are you?" can make a difference. 

Indiana University of Pennsylvania '21 - Hospitality Management & Psychology - Phi Eta Sigma - Eta Sigma Delta - CMAA
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