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National Suicide Prevention Week 2017

National Suicide Prevention Week September 10-16, 2017

National Suicide Prevention day was Sunday, September 10, 2017 with the following week being national suicide prevention week. During the week at Oklahoma State University, in the lawn located in front of the library there were small orange flags staked into the ground representing every student who had committed suicide on campus. I’m not sure what year the numbers date back to, but the yard was full of the orange flags. Just seeing so many of those orange flags in the yard had an emotional effect on me. It’s not always easy to share a story but honestly the stories need to be shared. Stories are very personal but people need to know the effect suicide has on those around them. Suicide is a very sensitive subject to speak of because I’ve lost someone to suicide. 

“My heart was racing as i got out my car.”

This is a tough story to share  but i feel the need to share it. The night of November 1st, 2014 was when my life changed forever. I remember the night as if it just happened 2 days ago. My best friend Hannah, lost her younger brother Dillan and I was close to him as well. This happened just 3 days before his 16th birthday. That night my best friend was supposed to come over after she got off work but I did not hear from her when she got off. I got an instinct to go to her house to check on her since she did not answer my calls nor texts. I drove over to her house to see the house taped with yellow crime scene tape and flashing lights by all the police officers surrounding the house. My heart was racing as i got out my car, i wasn’t sure what happened or what to expect. As i got out my car and started walking towards the house, an officer tried to stop me but then  I heard my best friend crying hysterically with her dad in the officer’s car. I walk over to hear my friend struggle to say the words “my brother killed himself.” Hearing those words sent a shock through my body and i didn’t know what to think. All i could do was comfort her and her dad and just hug them while they’re sobbing. My body was such in a state of shock i couldn’t even speak or have an emotional reaction. I had to be strong for my friend and her dad. Truly we don’t know why he chose to take his life but there were rumors he was bullied but we’ll never have the answer.

This memory replays through my head all the time and will forever haunt me. Suicide isn’t the answer. Sometimes it’s really hard for someone to try to get the help they need because it’s not easy to talk about. The signs aren’t always visible either, so please listen to the things your friends and family say. Suicide takes a major toll on the family and friends who surround that person. Suicide doesn’t get talked about much and it should be discussed more often. Not everyone knows how much of an impact suicide has on people. Therefore, more stories should be shared even though it’s hard but it’s a big relief if your story helped someone around you.

Suicide is just a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Please get help from the resources and friends around you if suicide ever comes across your mind. Please become more involved during national suicide prevention week and inform yourself of the signs. Don’t feel like you’re alone because you aren’t and you can get help.                                                             The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)   

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