The other day, I had tea with a friend who lost someone to suicide.
She still couldn’t believe it.
It’s an all too familiar story; her friend was gorgeous, inside and out. She had a beautiful family and an amazing life. She had everything going for her. And what’s more, her best friend worked in mental health!
As my friend sipped her tea, she asked, “How could this have happened? Why didn’t anyone see the signs or act on the signs?”
I’ve heard many stories like this over the years. Some people tell it with shock and sorrow. Some tell it with guilt. Others tell it with anger and furry. Our response to suicide or suicide attempts of our loved ones, friends, colleagues and even passing acquaintances are varied and just as nuanced as the reasons people die by suicide.
We get upset. Maybe we buzz about it on social media for a day or two, and then we move on. But I, as an entrepreneur, wanted to do more. No, I needed to do more; only I didn’t know what to do or how to help. So, I did the only thing I could do; reach out to professionals and research mental health concerns among women in business.
I kept thinking about how I could use this information.
Dr. Kelly Brogan, (who I find quite controversial and wonderfully fascinating), wrote that, “people require basic tools, simple truths, and community.” I agree with that because I believe in a community that both encourages people to know they’re not alone and where they feel empowered to grow and thrive.
So, I created a tool that shared simple truths in the form of a book, and I get to be a first-eye witness to a community organically forming around a movement towards mental health and suicide prevention among business leaders. It’s amazing!
My book, “Success to Die For: Breaking Down Assumptions about Anxiety, Depression, & Suicide and Their Impact on Business Women” is a compilation of stories from colleagues who struggle to create the change they want to see, yet don’t feel they deserve success or happiness. They struggle with depression, anxiety, and stress every single day. They’re stymied by fears of failure, self-doubt and self-sabotage. And these thoughts are compounded by mental health concerns.
As I wrote in my book, there isn’t any one reason why people die by suicide. All we know is research has shown that 90% of people who do so, have clinical depression or other diagnosed mental health disorder. In light of that, research has also shown the positive results of therapy and peer support in aiding mental health recovery which helps to prevent suicides.
When I started my movement, “Love Yourself, Love Your Business,” I never imagined it would become a community of business leaders who wanted to offer mental health peer support. I never thought I’d lead a peer-led NJ nonprofit that organizes conversations, resources, and events to promote mental health within entrepreneurial spaces. But I understood that community and education are basic tools that help recognize, de-stigmatize and adequately address mental health concerns in the workplace and life.
Now I pose a question to you; how can you pick up where I left off? How can you help support suicide prevention?
Here Are 4 Ways You Can Help Prevent Suicide:
- Take mental health first-aid to know the signs so you can assist a loved one in need. (*)
- Walk to fight suicide and raise funds for more research with organizations like the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
- Join an online mental health peer support community like, Love Yourself, Love Your Business.
- Maybe most important of all, reach out and talk to someone you see struggling. You’d be amazed at how much a simple conversation might help.
Do you know of other ways to help prevent suicide that were not mentioned above? If so, please share them with us in the comments section below!