National Suicide Hotline
I attended Opening Night of Spring Awakening on September 7, and after the show my guest and I discussed the themes of suicide portrayed in the story. One character commits suicide after being kicked out of school, knowing his family was going to reject him and that he had lost any hope of obtaining a higher education or even earning a living. Another character contemplates suicide after the accidental death of his lover. My guest and I discussed the issues in the ways that people who would never consider suicide often do… “There’s no reason for it,” “Things will always get better,” “It’s a silly solution…”
But as I was formulating my show review the next morning, I found out that a woman on the periphery of my friend circle had killed herself the night of the show. This woman was only tangentially connected to me; I had never met her, I only knew of her. But it brought home the obvious fact: Suicide still happens. For whatever reason, whether we think there was a good enough reason, it doesn’t matter, it still happens. And it affects a large circle of people who are left in the death’s wake.
My show partner had mentioned the night before that at her university there was on average one student a semester who managed to take their life during finals. I had had my own struggles with the idea when I suffered from a broken heart as a teen. And of course bullying in high school, whether because of sexual identity or any sort of “otherness”, has raised awareness of suicide among today’s teens. But it is just as common in adults. Suicide ranks as the Number 3 cause of death for ages TEN through 29. It happens, and it happens more often than we would like to think.
If you need help, or are concerned for someone who might need help, there are several places you can turn to:
Suicide and Crisis Hot Line, 1-855-278-4204 (Toll-free). A live counselor always answers this Toll-Free hotline 24-hours per day.
What can I do to help someone who may be suicidal?
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Comprehensive help site
Suicide and Crisis Services: Santa Clara County, also provides a cost-free drop-in Survivors of Suicide Support Group (SOS) for adults who have lost a loved one to suicide
Hot lines and Warm Lines for Teens
To Write Love On Her Arms: Comprehensive site with links to many different help sites, discussions, events, etc.