Sunday, May 26, 2013

Let's Talk About Suicide - TED Weekend Starts An Uncomfortable Conversation

TED and The Huffington Post have made suicide and depression the focus of this weekend's TED Weekend.  There are articles by friends and family members who lost loved ones to suicide and a great talk (above) by JD Schramm, a suicide survivor.

As someone who lost his father at the age of 12 to suicide, I am comforted by those who seek to encourage discussions of depression and suicide. While we have made progress in this area since my dad's suicide 33 years ago , we still have quite a bit of work to do to support those individuals struggling with the stigma of depression and those families struggling with the pain, guilt, and perceived disgrace that is associated with suicide.

I have always been bothered by the fact that there is far less discussion about mental illness than so many physical illnesses. I am struck by the irony in the fact that the families of those fighting mental illness have had to historically hide their experience living on an emotional roller coaster, immersing them in a similar silent struggles to the victim themselves.  My biggest frustration is with those who see people who commit suicide as selfish, weak, or someone who"took the easy way out."

Gosh, how ignorant and insensitive can you really be!?  I think we can all agree that mentally healthy do not end their own lives.  Be thankful that you can't comprehend feeling a sense of despair that would ever have you consider this for one moment! Anyway, I agree with JD Schramm's concluding remark in the talk above which alludes to the TED Talk theme of discussing "Ideas Worth Spreading."

Raising awareness and comfort levels for those who are impacted by mental illness and suicide is certainly at the top of my list! I encourage others to help in this cause by sharing this video and the accompanying Huffington Post articles below.

What I've Learned From My Best Friend's Suicide -  by Lea Lane  

Faith-Filled Responses To Suicide  - by Reverend Mary Robin Craig

Goodbye Darkness My Old Friend - by Robin Bobbe
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