By Abigail Moellering
Over 800,000 people in the world die by suicide every year. In the United States, suicide rates are at a 30-year high (according to a study done by the New York Times). Millions of people are affected by this epidemic. There are families, friends, co-workers, students and faculty on this campus who have had their lives deeply changed by suicide.
The statistics are daunting, yet they are constantly ignored, for some inexplicable reason. Sept. 10 is an incredibly important day, as it sheds light on a very real and very detrimental issue, one that doesn’t disappear when we stop talking about it. Mental illness is hushed and swept to the side nearly every other day, so I want to use this opportunity to yell out love and acceptance so loudly that the echoes can be heard through the rest of the year.
To those who have struggled with suicidal thoughts, who have depression, who feel isolated in their pain, I want to let you know, I’m writing this for you.
I’m writing this to let you know that you are not alone.
I’m writing this to let you know that there are people who love you and are ready to support you however you need it.
I’m writing this to let you know that you don’t have to fight this alone. There are other people in the world, in this country and on this campus who have stood where you stand. Talk to the people you trust; they might surprise you.
I’m writing this to let you know that no one else can play your part. Your role and your voice and your story are all completely unique and immeasurably valuable.
I’m writing this to let you know that life gets better, and then it gets worse, and it gets better again. Life is full of sadness and joy and grief and wonder and all of that is waiting for you on the other side of tomorrow.
I’m writing this to let you know that the reasons to keep living are so much greater than any argument the darkness may have.
I’m writing this to let you know that suicide is a lie, a lie that steals your future and your chances of hope and healing.
I’m writing this to let you know that you are loved.
I’m writing this to ask you to stay. I’m asking you to place your bet on hope. I’m asking you to keep fighting, and to find people who will fight with you and for you. I’m asking you to stay alive.