Suicide Prevention and Awareness
By Tara Holmes, Sports Editor
Suicide isn’t something that people talk about. All too many times it’s brushed under the rug and not taken seriously until someone has the reached the point of no return and the once hushed subject has suddenly become something that is taken seriously. For people like Kaitlyn Martin, suicidal thoughts have previously been something of habit and have come naturally to her. The 20 year old Chattanooga State student has suffered from anxiety, depression, and PTSD since she was 13. In 2011, at the age of 16, Martin attempted suicide for the first time, after struggling with how she thought she would be accepted for being gay. Martin immediately sought professional help for her anxiety and was on the right path, or so she thought. Earlier this year on March 6, after trying to cope with the aftermath of a bad breakup, Martin once again needed an escape from the pain. This time though, she was nearly successful.
Since her first attempt at suicide, Martin has been placed on various prescription drugs for mood stabilization and anxiety and has been seeing a counselor weekly, which have tremendously helped her. Martin is proud to say that she hasn’t had any suicidal thoughts since her last attempt at taking her own life back in March. Martin has also come out to her parents who accept her no matter what and continue to love her unconditionally. When asked what she would say to other people dealing with the same feelings of acceptance, and handling depression she said, “To anyone out there suffering, it does get better. It may not seem like it now and it may take a while, but it does get better.” Martin hopes to one day help other people going through these same issues, specifically teenagers and those in the LGBT community.
Unfortunately, there are many people across the world who see no reason to live and considered suicide as a way to escape whatever pain they are dealing with. According to SAVE, Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US. Every 13 minutes someone in the US takes their own life. More than 800,000 people commit suicide worldwide every year.
People like Amy Bleuel, founder of Project Semicolon, are working hard to bring awareness to addiction, depression, self-harm, and suicide. Bleuel lost her father to suicide and in 2013 started a movement to bring inspiration to those suffering. You may recognize the symbol of this nonprofit organization, a semicolon tattoo which simply means that your story isn’t over yet. A semicolon represents that a writer could have ended their sentence but chose to continue it instead, which is what Bleuel hopes to inspire people across the world to do with their lives.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org