My colleagues of all stages, please take a moment:
There has been a rash of suicides and suicide attempts in my community and it has driven me to write this note.
After the devastating loss of a nursing student, I just....I don't even know where to begin. So I'll start:
Please, please, please remember that in taking care of others, one most take care of oneself. Please remember no matter how dark, how down, how trapped you feel, there are people that care--that love you--that want to help.
Surround yourselves by people who are a positive influence. Give yourself the benefit of people who will boost you, watch out for you, and save you from yourself. Get out of bad or toxic relationships, regardless of who that relationship involves.
Be your own advocate.
Do not be ashamed of what you are feeling or what you are thinking. It doesn't matter if "someone else has it worse". Please do not, for one moment, think that if you sought help from someone who supported you, that you would be turned away.
Just talk, out loud, about what is going on. Let people help.
There is no bill worth more than you life.
There is no test score that should make you feel as if you are invisible.
There is no relationship that determines your worthiness of love or life.
There is no day bad enough not to merit a dawn.
Suicide is the number 10 cause of death in this country. This is a fact.
And I, for one, decry a society that believes that depression is just a bad case of the blues. I have seen the black dog up close and personal, thank you, and it is very real. It is a medical condition. And it can kill.
So I declare myself a safe haven.
If you need a shoulder, I am here. I am not the most empathetic individual ever created, and I may not be able to fix it, but I can listen. I can be genuinely present in the moment.
I am here.
If you are in need of help, please remember the following resources:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
Google free counseling services for your area. There are many.
Keep in mind that there are counseling services offered through many employers.
Do your absolute best to get help when you feel the slouch of depression. Listen to your loved ones that worry, that ask you over and over if you are okay. They are seeing something you are not--trust them. When they tell you they love you, internalize it, believe it.
Please, take care of each other and yourselves.
Written off the cuff. Grammar and spelling mistakes are all mine.