I kept living because I met my best friend.
I kept living because my brother told me how much he loves me.
I kept living because I didn’t want my husband and kids to think they weren’t enough.
I kept living because there is still a dance floor.
I kept living because I’m convinced that our favorite memories are yet to be made.
The words above are just a few of the responses shared by people participating in our World Suicide Prevention Day campaign. WSPD is this Saturday, September 10. Here in America, today is the start of National Suicide Prevention Week. Whether you’ve been following this campaign for weeks or you’re reading about all of this for the first time, welcome. You’re right on time.
This year’s campaign is based on a statement written by our friend Matt Haig:
“And so I kept living.”
Those words come from Matt’s book Reasons to Stay Alive. The book is his account of dealing with severe anxiety and depression. The words “And so I kept living” show up as Matt walks away from the edge of a cliff, choosing to stay alive.
Between now and Sunday, we will share a daily action point. From practicing self-care to caring for loved ones to getting involved with organizations such as Crisis Text Line, there will be seven different ways to participate.
We will also point to blog posts each day on TWLOHA.COM, highlighting stories and inviting you to join the conversation on social media, and we will continue selling our World Suicide Prevention Day packs. Each pack includes the #IKeptLiving shirt, plus posters and info cards meant to help you spread the word in your community.
We are halfway to our goal of raising $85,000 for suicide prevention. That money will go to treatment and counseling because we’ve learned that untreated depression is the leading cause of suicide, and we want to do our part to ensure that people get the help they need and deserve.
All in all, this week is about something much bigger than “raising awareness.” We’re inviting you to participate in suicide prevention, and we’re inviting you to keep living.
In Reasons to Stay Alive, Matt Haig goes on to write that “life always provides us with reasons not to die if you listen hard enough.” This week is about hearing those reasons, and sharing them as well. When we come together for this sort of conversation, when we choose to be vulnerable with our stories and to invest in the stories of other people, we have the power to see lives change and people stay alive.
Welcome to National Suicide Prevention Week.
We’re glad you’re here.
Peace to You.
PS: i mentioned being vulnerable with our stories. The expanded edition of If You Feel Too Much arrives tomorrow. This new material was written during a painful season, maybe the hardest of my life. i’m nervous about sharing some things that are deeply personal, but the hope is that if someone else is hurting, this new edition might help them know they’re not alone.
To learn more about how you can get involved this week, click here.