TRIGGER WARNING: This article talks in depth about depression, anxiety, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts and actions.
Recently, our Her Campus chapter here in Las Cruces, NM attended a suicide prevention walk in order to raise awareness of suicide and the stigma surrounding mental health. Overall, this was a very eye-opening and enlightening experience for all of us that attended, and we had a great time at the event. Emotions were running high and it was amazing to see so many people in attendance supporting such a great cause. We bonded and walked together with pride. While I cannot speak for my other fantastic Her Campus members, this experience was particularly emotional and illuminative for me.
I personally live with and am diagnosed with major depression and anxiety. I have been living with this for a very long time and will continue to live with it, most likely, for the rest of my life. Sadness has plagued me for about as long as I can remember. I have self-harmed in the past, and unfortunately, I can say that I have attempted suicide several times in my life. There have been several times in my life where I have been very close to dying and movements like this have saved my life. Because of the fact that I live with mental illness, movements like the Las Cruces Suicide Prevention Walk matter so much to me and I am so grateful for them. They have saved me time and time again. To them my life is valid, and sometimes that’s all one needs to be reminded of. I have been talked down by crisis lines and my friends and family have done so much more for me than just save my life.
Notes were written by attendees and posted for all to see
Organizations like the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention have done so much to educate people about depression and other forms of mental illness and I could not be more grateful. It is because of mental health professional and organizations, the stigma surrounding my illness is slowly disappearing. More and more people are learning how to prevent suicide and how to treat urgent situations where the damage could be irreversible
I had the privilege to talk to Robyn Rehbein who is the chair of the Las Cruces Suicide Prevention Walk. She is a local therapist who works mostly in trauma and has recently lost people to suicide. She stated that she did this because, “I wanted to reach out and help with prevention and help also suicide survivors, like our family, in healing.” It goes without saying that suicide hurts so many people. While I cannot help what I think and feel in times of total distress, I know right now that I don’t want to hurt my friends and that my mother does not deserve a daughter who wants to die. Rehbein is doing some fantastic work in the area of Las Cruces and I am personally very thankful that she put on an important event such as this one. She believes in her work and she has helped so many people cope with their troubles. Without her, this event would not have happened and it would not have been as successful as it was.
As I was doing my best not to cry at the walk, I saw so many people come together and it was beautiful. There were upwards of 600 people who were all there to support people like me and I was overwhelmed with emotion. I wanted to cry out of guilt, gratefulness, and hope. I felt so guilty for ever thinking about taking my own life and I felt hope that there were people who were willing to save me from myself. So, thank you to everyone who has stopped me and lifted me up from my lowest points and who never let me fall too far. Thank you and I’m sorry.
Here are some resources both local and national for anyone dealing with suicidal thoughts.
National Suicide Prevention Line: 1-800-273-8255 (available to call and chat online)
Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741