Content Warning: Suicide
September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day. It is important to acknowledge this because suicide is the tenth overall leading cause of death in the US, it is the second leading cause for people aged 10-34, and for several years it’s been on the rise. Beyond the pure numbers, suicide leaves profound effects on the world. In October 2012, games journalist – and colleague of Take This’ founders – Matt Hughes took his own life. In the aftermath and grief of his loss, Take This was founded to educate others about mental health struggles in hopes of destigmatizing them. Since we know that treatment of mental health challenges results in a reduction of suicidal crises, Take This envisioned a world where folks like Matt would no longer have to suffer in silence and shame.
Over the years, we’ve periodically chatted with Matt’s mom Kimberly. Eight years later she still grieves her son and celebrates his life in many ways. She reminds us of his birthday on September 5th. She built a rock garden to honor him. She runs in 5K races and dedicates them to him. She regularly posts pictures of Matt and the whole family on social media. The pain she still feels is readily apparent and quite palpable. Despite this, she wants to make sure her son’s life is remembered not for how it ended, but for what it was filled with.
Our clinical director wrote a longer article a few years ago which covers a variety of topics, including various ways people cope with suicidal ideation. Right now, we want to remind you that we’ve never met someone who was truly alone, and we’ve met a lot of people. Whether you know it or not, someone cares about you and will miss you. And even if today is awful, tomorrow might not be.
If you live in the US and you’re having suicidal thoughts, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or dial 9-1-1. If you’re outside the US, you can find local crisis lines at Suicide.org. If you’re even debating whether you should call them, you should call them. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline handles all psychological crises, not just suicide. The information in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for psychological advice or treatment.