It was not until recently that I even knew that there was a month dedicated to Suicide Prevention and Awareness, let alone that they had a color.
September is the Month
I live in central Pennsylvania and the day that this post is being written (September 7, 2019) is the day that our city hosts “Out of the Darkness” walk in support for NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION AND AWARENESS MONTH. All over the country this month is hosting fund-raisers and events and walks and runs to raise funds.
Suicide Prevention and Awareness
In life there are many unexpected things that are tossed in one’s direction. I personally have dealt with my own share the unexpected such as floods and fires and sickness and death of loved one’s BUT for me there was nothing that has impacted my life as much as having a child of mine admit that they “are suicidal”. I may have not had my most stellar “mom moment” that first day but since then I have learned so much. I am no way an expert of this topic but I would like to use this Nationally recognized month of September to just have a discussion. My daughter who is now in her mid- 20s is safe and sound sleeping in the room next to me but oh what a ride we have been on these last few years. Our conversations have gone from being afraid to bring up the subject at all to sometimes casually asking her how she is doing to now almost a daily discussion.
It would be very easy for me to have an entire blog devoted to my daughters experiences and treatments and how she has dealt with her mental health issues BUT I have decided that it is time for me to share what I have learned along the way as her supporter and caregiver. This would be a good place to interject that if you are reading this post and need help in this area to please reach out to someone for help. There is a National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). This is a 24/7 free and confidential place to reach someone who will listen.
Stories that will be discussed in this blog are going to be MOSTLY from my personal experiences and what I have done wrong (long list) and the few things I have done right and what I have learned along the way. One example of something I did wrong has to do with dealing with my daughters suicidal thoughts and comments. I have to admit that I was raised in a loving christian family that never really talked about mental health issues. Even today talking to my parents about my daughter is tough although this is one area we are all growing.
We have gotten past the “she will grow out of it” phase and grown through the “she is such a drama queen” phase and have actually entered into the “oh shit, this is serious” phase. Maybe because of the way I was raised or the denial I was in I opted in my total frustration to just hand over a list of local helplines and agencies to my daughter.
My intentions were that I was so “green” at dealing with this issue I thought it would be good for her to talk to someone who didn’t want to throw-up every time the topic was discussed. I was so scared that I would say or do the wrong thing and make it worse…and guess what? I said and did the wrong thing.
I thought I was doing something good and helpful she perceived it as I was handing her and her problems to someone else to deal with instead of helping her myself. Those were a few rough weeks. Not only was she dealing with her suicide thoughts but now she felt abandoned by the one person she trusted the most. Luckily we all made it through that rough time and have both learned for that experience. This is one reason that I find not only the PREVENTION portion of this month so important but also the AWARENESS.
Yellow or Purple
One would think that in this day in age picking one color would be an easy task. When I began researching the Suicide Prevention Month Color I was amazed at the different choices that popped up on the screen. If I were to guess prior to my searching the internet I would have said the color was PURPLE. Maybe I was half right or maybe I was wrong. Let’s dive in and see what we can come up with as my best pick for the Suicide Prevention Month Color.
According to the Wellness Ribbons Guide, YELLOW is the ribbon color of choice for Suicide Prevention. Along with Support our Troops, MIA/POW, Adoptive Parents, Amber Alerts, Bladder Cancer, Spina Bifida, Endometriosis and Hope. Then after searching some more I came across a YELLOW ribbon for World Food Day. I can’t seem to get that early 1970s song “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree” out of my head. With that being said I have personally vetoed the YELLOW as my final answer. In searching for ribbon colors PURPLE has its list of wellness categories that claim this color. The one I found that represents the cause the best is the PURPLE and TURQUOISE combination. The best place to get a look at my pick would be at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline site.
PURPLE & TURQUOISE are my winners to represent Suicide Prevention Month Color.
There are so many more resources in 2019 than there were just a few years ago. One who has access to the internet can find a multitude of alliances and lifelines and helplines. As far as Statistic for Suicide Rates this blog will go into more detail at a later date but I was shocked that multiple different organizations have mentioned that Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people.
What is next ?
This morning we are heading to “Out of the Darkness” event in our city.
I have never participated in this event before but I am very excited to go and learn more about the prevention and awareness of a very neglected subject…SUICIDE.
Once again I will leave you with the LIFELINE 1-800-273-8255. And remember my intentions are to get you the help you need and not to just pass you off to someone else.
Keep fighting the good fight