Our community lost another friend to tragedy this week. My heart hurts for their family. I wish I could take the pain away. The only thing I can do is this.
The highest incident of suicide is males age 50-65. What I am seeing is young boys and males in their 40’s who have hit a rough spot providing for their families in this particular community. I don’t have answers. I am not a male. I can understand the young boys better than the men. But this society has gotten so caught up in keeping up financially and buying all the toys, etc. I find it hard to believe that all these people with 3-4 $70,000 cars and club memberships can afford it. I don’t know how to stop it and I don’t think these men do either and they get in a hole and find no other way out. They are too ashamed to admit they made a mistake or a wrong financial decision. So they think their family will be better off without them because they feel if they can’t provide for their family what good are they? How can we stop this? It comes down to SHAME.
According to The American Dictionary of the English Language, “shame” is defined as “a painful sensation excited by a consciousness of guilt, or of having done something which injures reputation”. That is spot on. If we are going to battle the stigma of depression and to decrease the number of tragedies, we need to put our pride aside and open up. I don’t mean you need to express all your feelings. We just need to admit defeat sometimes and ask for help.
ASK FOR HELP. We are a community. We stand by each other. Right now two good friends of mine are battling cancer. One friend was just diagnosed Friday and her work place has already begun to organize a fundraiser. I think that is wonderful. I am all for it. They are good friends of mine and I will support them. I know you will too.
Now, take your neighbor down the street who just had to file bankruptcy. They are distraught and probably very depressed. What do you do? They don’t get casseroles and meal.com set up. They probably need it because they are struggling to put food on the table. You look the other way. It is shameful to be poor or down on your luck. You get depressed because you are too ashamed to ask for help and your neighbor avoided you. You can’t find a job. Where do you go for help?
AWARE is working hard to find the answers for you. Contact one of us. I will bring you a casserole. If it will keep you alive to be there for your family, I will do anything. Let’s stop this please. AWARE wants to hold a fundraiser. We want a street party to get the whole community involved. Will you join us? Will you come listen to Sue Wygul Martin next Thursday at 6 at Park Lane? We have got to come together to erase the stigma and save lives.