Sadly, he is one of the 40,000 Americans who take their own lives every year. These people come from all backgrounds ranging in age, gender, ethnicity, and financial status, though they usually have one thing in common and that is depression. 1 in 10 Americans will suffer from depression at one point or another in their lives. Some face it after a significant life-altering event while others wake up every day feeling helpless, lost, disinterested, reckless, and potentially even suicidal.
Throughout life we will inevitably lose loved ones. Whether it be from a physical illness, a car accident, or just old age it will happen, though we never want or expect suicide to be the cause. Knowing that someone you love was facing enough pain and confusion that led them to take their own life is a gut-retching realization. What hurts even more is the possibility that more people you care for may also be fighting with some degree of depression. Like Alan, they could feel trapped and lost in a downward spiral struggling to find any way out. Many of these possible acquaintances or friends could also feel ashamed of their own illness and have no idea where to start getting help.
Depression, along with other mental illnesses, should be seen as other physical illnesses which can be treated with varying measures, including pharmacological intervention and various forms of therapy. Though we may know one or even multiple people who have taken their own lives there is still a chance to help others facing debilitating depression get the help they need. We can do this in memory of those we had and will continue to love, those like our neighbors, our brothers, our friends, those like Alan.
The donations collected will go to funding an organization starting in the Madison, Wisconsin community looking to support individuals seeking help in battling their depression or other mental illnesses. Anyone seeking help will have access to a peer who can:
Listen and provide open and non-judgmental conversation
Assist in seeking professional help
Assist in finding affordable care that fits their insurance and budgetary needs
If needed a portion of costs may be covered by the organization for those who still can not afford treatment.
All money that is raised will go towards improving the lives of those who need it most. Let’s bring more support, happiness, and understanding to the lives of those we care about.
This is for you Alan, maybe if I had done this earlier you and many more wonderful people would still be with us. A special thanks to Sadie V. for her help.
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