TWLOHA began in Florida back in 2006, and Florida continues to be our home. Our staff and interns are among the millions who evacuated to leave the path of Hurricane Irma. This is a time of great uncertainty, and that is true for many around the world. There are fires and floods and earthquakes and other hurricanes and disasters big and small.
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. It’s also the start of National Suicide Prevention Week here in the United States. Our campaign this year is built around the phrase, “Stay. Find what you were made for.”
There is certainly an irony in calling attention to a campaign built around the word “stay” while millions of people are forced to be away from their homes. When we launched this campaign, we acknowledged that “help” is often the step after “stay.” That rings true today more than ever.
Some of us are facing storms and disasters that the world is watching, and so many more are fighting something unseen, something that feels just as destructive and isolating. No matter your situation, we want to encourage you to believe in what we know to be true: You are worthy of help.
We know that for thousands of people in Texas and Mexico and around the world, recovery will take months and years. To these people: Your pain matters. The place you know as home matters. We stand with you.
For the millions around the world struggling with mental health issues, we stand with you as well.
As communities continue to meet the tangible and physical need for safety and survival, we want to recognize how important meeting mental health needs will be now and in the aftermath of these disasters.
This week, our goal is to start as many conversations about suicide prevention as possible and to raise funds to provide resources to those in need. Organizations and individuals across the country are doing the same. We’re hopeful that with their help and with your support, we can help people stay alive and get the help they deserve.
We invite you to come back to our campaign landing page every day this week to take part in our action steps. Our hope is that these steps will lead to important conversations in your community as well as online.
May we keep fighting. May we keep asking for help when we need it. May we continue hoping for a better tomorrow in the face of the uncertainty of today.
May we stay and find what we were made for.