September 10th-16th is national suicide prevention week in the U.S.
September 10th is world suicide prevention day.
September is suicide prevention month in Canada.
I have written about suicidal ideation many times before, but in honour of suicide prevention week, I wanted to organize all my resources in one convenient blog post.
Why am I talking about suicidal ideation on a chronic illness blog? Well, if you're chronically ill, you already know the answer to that.
Because chronic illness is hard. Living with chronic illness can be isolation. Enduring chronic illness is mentally draining. And because depression, anxiety, and loneliness are more common in chronic illness patients than the general population.
Each year, the chronic illness community loses people to suicide. Each day, someone contemplates it. Maybe even you.
If you do suffer with suicidal ideation, you are not alone. I have been there. Suicidal ideation can leave us feeling shameful and depression can inhibit our ability to reach out to others. Often times we share quotes asking those who are experiencing suicidal ideation to reach out to us, but I also think it's our job to reach out to them. No, it's not our responsibility if someone does commit suicide. However, we can be responsible to people without being responsible for people. A counselor once taught me this and it's been life changing. I can't expect people to always approach me when they're experiencing depression, so I like to check in on my family and friends and ask them about their mental health.
I like to ask my brothers if they've been experiencing suicidal ideation, and keep an eye out for any changes in mental health. I like to talk about suicidal ideation as a symptom: like neck pain or digestive issues, suicidal ideation is a symptom that you don't need to feel ashamed for. I like to open up the conversation about suicide frequently so people can feel safe to let me know if they are experiencing suicidal ideation.
Chronic illness is overwhelming, excruciating, and sometimes unbearable. But you don't have to experience this alone. I'm here, reaching out my hand, and asking you to please, continue to live until you feel alive again.
To learn more about my history of suicidal ideation, and to hopefully find hope in your journey, check out the following blog posts:
Suicidal ideation & chronic illness
Suicidal ideation & chronic illness part 2
Suicidal ideation & chronic illness part 3
Grieving the life you had before chronic illness
Chronic illness and isolation
50 Reasons Why
You can also find more resources for suicide prevention and awareness under my resources tab.