Finding help in your darkest hour

The topic of suicide is not an easy topic to discuss. This past October, a friend I grew up with took his own life. Our moms were very close so we spent a lot of time together growing up. Although we had grown apart, hearing the news of his passing was a shock. No mother should have to bury her son.
Today, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 44,193 Americans die by suicide each year; and for every suicide there are 25 attempts. On average, there are 121 suicides per day, and they cost the United States $51 billion annually.
These facts are not meant to scare you, but rather meant to bring awareness to a topic that many don’t really like to talk about.
Just recently, Chester Bennington, the lead singer of the band Linkin Park, hanged himself. He was 41.
Mental illness is not something that should be taken lightly. Just like any other disease or illness, it needs to be treated and taken care of. The problem we see today is many people are scared to speak up about what they are going through. While I do believe our world has become a little too sensitive, we should not shame someone who says they are suffering from a mental illness.
There are many different ways to get help when you are struggling.
Here in Ruston, there is a group called No Place Like Hope that was founded in June 2016. The mission statement states the group “exists to serve those impacted by mental illness and suicide by inspiring, educating and working hands on with the communities it serves, while also investing into treatment and therapy.”
Carter Carroll, a senior Computer Information Systems student at Louisiana Tech, helped to found the group last year.
“The original goal was to set up a way to raise funds for an event called Bulldogs for Suicide Prevention, which was being held on Tech’s campus,” Carroll said. “Currently our only real service is being a mediator between people who are searching for professional or spiritual help, and those who provide those services.”
Carroll said the biggest impact he has seen has been the conversations that they have been able to start.
One of the biggest problems is the stigma surrounding mental illness and suicide, he said. Starting conversations helps get people the professional help they need.
He said the organization has worked to sell over 200 T-shirts, and have connected with people in over 18 states, and they have helped dozens of people get professional and spiritual help.
If you are looking for professional or spiritual help, you can connect with the No Place Like Hope members by sending them a message on Facebook and they will assist you.
While No Place Like Hope is a good way to get in contact with the professional help one may need, there are numerous other ways to seek help.
The National Suicide Lifeline is available 24/7 and they work to help people come down from suicidal thoughts. That number is 1-800-273-8255.
There is also a crisis text line, and that is available to anyone in any sort of crisis, whether it be suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks or abuse. The text line is also available around the clock. All you need to do is text “Hello” to 741741.
No one should feel like they are alone. For every bad day, there are a million good ones.
If you are in need of any kind of profession help, I encourage you to reach out. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
You are worth so much more than you know.


This originally appeared in The Ruston Daily Leader


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