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Suicide Prevention

July 26, 2023

Last month two close friends of mine lost someone they love to suicide. This is the kind of news that hits your soul with a horrible thud.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention says that suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States. Even worse, according to The JED Foundation, suicide is the second leading cause of death for 10-34 year olds.

The bottom line, in my opinion, is that we need to talk more openly and more often about our mental health. In the same way we talk about our physical health. I feel strongly that one big reason things can get so far out of hand for those suffering is that they are suffering in silence, alone. We would never be so silent or feel such shame if we had a broken leg. Or an open wound. Or a life threatening disease. We’d tell our family, our friends, our community. We’d get to a doctor right away. Please please, this is what we need to be doing with our mental health.

Talk, share, get help. Smash that stupid awful stigma in any way you can.

I had an amazing conversation this week with the Director of the Bay Area’s chapter of the American Foundation for the Prevention of Suicide. The AFPS has chapters in every state and Puerto Rico. They have so many programs – in schools, faith communities, for LGBTQ+, first responders, survivors of suicide loss, veterans, the elderly…. If you need help, please hop on their website. If you’d like to help, hop on their website.


9-8-8 is the new number. Memorize it. Share it. It’s like 9-1-1 except it is for mental health emergencies rather than physical health emergencies. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) offers 24/7 call, text and chat access to trained crisis counselors who can help people experiencing suicidal, substance use, and/or mental health crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress. People can also dial 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.

According to MindSite News and the Washington Post, teens are reaching out to 9-8-8 “in droves” via text. HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said that “988 is more than just a number — it’s a person to listen, a person to care.”

We ALL need help sometimes. Life isn’t 100% wonderful for anyone. Some of us need more support than others. Please normalize this for yourself and your loved ones. Our minds, our tender hearts, and our moods deserve the deep care and attention that all our other body parts get.

Sending much love to all,