What is the story related to mental health, suicide, and/or resilience that you’d like to share?   

My friend’s daughter, Julie, died by suicide when she was a college student. Julie was truly an “all-American girl.” She was loved by so many. She was an excellent nursing student and active in many college activities. The saddest part of this story is that she was able to hide her suicidal thoughts from those close to her. I had seen her three days before her death and she seemed her normal bubbly self. Her roommate did not notice any changes in Julie’s activities or demeanor. Yet, Julie left a detailed description of how she wanted her funeral handled. Looking back some people now realize she gave away some personal possessions. At the time she did this, it just seemed she wanted to share with those she cared about.  

I want to reach the Julies of the world and encourage them to seek help. Hundreds of people would have done anything for Julie if they had known she was hurting. I’m certain others also have a lot of people who would be happy to help them if they just share how they are feeling. The most difficult thing can be to reach out when it seems the world is dark. The world can be better with some help from professionals. 

 

What resources have helped you to address this challenge?  

Getting involved in suicide prevention efforts. I need to feel like I am helping people seek help for mental health challenges. I encourage people to call 211 and get connected with the support groups they offer. 

 

Based on your experience, how can we work to build resilience in ourselves, our loved ones, and in our communities to better face life’s challenges? 

Talk, talk, talk. I think the more conversations we have about mental health problems the more “normal” they will become, and people will feel less ashamed to say they are receiving treatment for one of these medical conditions. And, please receive professional help when you are struggling. 

 

What is one thing related to mental health, suicide, or resilience that you wish everyone could understand? 

Mental health problems are medical conditions like any other ailment our bodies may have. I’ve never heard anyone say the body only gets ill from the neck down.