I’m Amanda, and I’m currently attending Colorado State University. I am a suicide survivor, and every day I am aware of how suicide affects the world around us, to hearing the stereotypes associated with the topic, as the ever classic “suicide is selfish” to even hearing how many times a day “I would seriously kill myself” being thrown around by students who don’t want to write a certain paper, or take a certain class. I have even had professors throw phrases around such as “throw myself off a bridge” in a classroom!
This needs to end—NOW.
While I’m sure a good majority of these people wouldn’t actually “kill themselves” to some of us these words can hurt a lot more than they are aware of. For all we know, a person saying things like this could actually mean they want to commit suicide, and if we aren’t aware of what they’re saying, we wouldn’t know they were serious until it’s too late. Along with hearing such things in my daily life, I also study references of suicide in pop culture, such as books, films, poetry, songs, etc. I aim for adolescents’ literature in particular, given that statistics point to 18 to 24 year olds as the highest risk of people committing suicide. For survivors, we are left with the unanswered questions, and the pain and pity that are associated with suicide. For this reason, and out of respect for the family and close friends of those I know who committed suicide, their names will not be mentioned in this blog.
Talking about suicide has always been a sensitive subject to people, and it is a closeted term. While some people feel strongly about the subject, survivor or not, there are things that need to change. We live in a society where we are taught to accept others, and to not be defined by labels or stereotypes. We need a society where people will not be afraid to speak their minds, to live without fear that they will judged. Asking for help can be one of the toughest things for a person to do, and without that courage, and a person to listen, really listen, there are lives being lost because they did not seek help. It is up to ALL of us, to recognize the signs and be a listener to those asking for help. We can change the way suicide is viewed, and give help to those who need it, and to those who are survivors of suicide.