I’ve said it before, this space is all about second takes. Today, September 10, is World Suicide Prevention Day.
My daughter, Anna, brought this to my attention with a Facebook post today. It reads:
"Just by saying hi or smiling at someone can give that person hope and you can be the one thing today that keeps them alive. But don't just do it today. Millions of people are struggling with depression and anxiety every single day, and just because they appear happy, doesn't mean they're alright. Please take some time out of your day today, and everyday, to be kind to everyone because everyone deserves a chance to live."
It reminded me of a story I recently found about an organization called Project Semicolon.
Project Semicolon is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and love to those who are struggling with depression, suicide, addiction, and self-injury. Grammatically, a semi-colon is used when a writer could end a sentence, but chooses to continue. The correlation couldn’t be more fitting.
The project was inspired by suicide. Amy Bleuel, the founder and president of Project Semicolon, began this effort after her father decided to end his own story, rather than use a semi-colon to continue on. This is a courageous movement, one driven by all the right reasons, dealing with a subject that nobody is comfortable discussing.
Everyone struggles mentally or emotionally at some point. Self doubt, a sense of worthlessness, a feeling of not belonging, physical challenges that weaken the will…there are so many reasons why people struggle to fit into societal norms. There are square pegs among us, folks. I’ve been there, have you? Then you know the loneliness of mental and emotional distress. If you know another square peg that is struggling, reach out, be the comforting hand, the shoulder soaking up the tears, the sympathetic ear, the friend in a time of need.
Give each other a reason for a semi-colon. Help them make the most of a second take.
(Feeling like you're at the end of your rope? There's a better way. If you don't have a friend to call, you'll find one here.)
September 10, 2015