In my most recent podcast, Jordan Eichenblatt revealed his journey through depression and attempted suicide. It opened up an opportunity for me to share with him my own struggle with depression and a suicide attempt when I was sixteen. Thankfully, we're both still here. Many don't make it through feeling helpless or worthless or pain. Some people don't know how to start talking about how they feel.
This week, in the UK, a new campaign was revealed that has been called insensitive and disturbing. As a survivor, I call it revealing and impactful. 84 men a week commit suicide in the UK and 14,000 people die by their own hand in the US each year. The numbers alone should be a wake-up call, but sometimes you need a visual to go along with the data.
CALM - Campaign Against Living Miserably is pretty spot on. I am such a fan of this campaign it prompted me to write this post. American artist, Mark Jenkins has made 84 hyper-realistic sculptures of men. They're lined up on the top of the ITV building. Each one represents one of the men who take their life each week in Britain. It's a little shocking to see so I'll let you click over if you want and leave the visuals there.
Seize The Awkward. No, seriously. It's hard talking to someone who's really struggling. When you see your friend doing things out of the ordinary or maybe just not doing things at all, you have to talk to them about it. You really do. And it isn't easy. These questions to ask and things to do really help make it easier. This campaign from the Ad Council really breaks it down for you. The testimonials are super and the website tells a pretty real story of depression and suicide with a bit of humor and irreverence. It also shares hella good content for figuring out what to say to someone you love who may seem like their a bit off.
We can talk about the effects of stress and social media and the importance of self-care ALL DAY LONG. At the heart of the issue, at the center of everything, I need to tell you this.
YOU ARE LOVED. YOU MATTER.
Make healthy choices. I will too.