Book Lovers Unite for World Suicide Prevention Day + Giveaway

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September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day. Authors, readers, and bloggers are uniting again his year to fight stigma, spread mental health awareness, and support the prevention of suicide. To encourage participation, we’re giving away a $50 Amazon gift card and a Book Lovers Unite for World Suicide Prevention Day t-shirt to one lucky winner.

Two kinds of stigma continue to persist: public stigma and self-stigma. Public stigma occurs when other people view a person with a mental illness in a negative way. Public stigma feeds into self-stigma when people with mental illness internalize the negative talk they hear from others.

Well-meaning people say things like, “Suck it up,” “Choose to be happy,” “Turn that frown upside down,” or “Focus on your blessings,” as if mental illness were a mood, a frame of mind, or an attitude that can simply be overcome at will.

Often, people who suffer from mental illness blame themselves instead of seeking help. Just as a diabetic needs insulin, a person with mental illness may need treatment.

People who contemplate suicide don’t want to die; they just can’t fathom how to live because they are so miserable. They can’t see past their pain and misery, and they see no point in going on.

According to the International Association for Suicide Prevention, “Every year, suicide is among the top 20 leading causes of death globally for people of all ages. It is responsible for over 800,000 deaths, which equates to one suicide every 40 seconds.”

IASP explains that “[e]very life lost represents someone’s partner, child, parent, friend or colleague. For each suicide approximately 135 people suffer intense grief or are otherwise affected. This amounts to 108 million people per year who are profoundly impacted by suicidal behaviour. Suicidal behaviour includes suicide, and also encompases suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. For every suicide, 25 people make a suicide attempt and many more have serious thoughts of suicide.”

If you’re contemplating suicide, please don’t do it! Instead, seek help. You might be suffering now, but you never know what tomorrow brings. Reach out to a friend or family member. See a doctor. If that doctor doesn’t help, try another. Please don’t give up.

If you’re in crisis, please reach out to the toll-free hotline in your region. You can find your hotline here: https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/.

If you are grieving the death of a victim of suicide and need help, here are resources that can help: https://www.iasp.info/resources/Postvention/National_Suicide_Survivor_Organizations/.

If you suspect that someone you know may be contemplating suicide, please reach out. We often hesitate because we’re afraid we might make things worse by saying the wrong thing. According to IASP, “Evidence suggests that this is not the case. The offer of support and a listening ear are more likely to reduce distress, as opposed to exacerbating it.”

Warning signs to look for include severe anxiety, agitation, hopelessness, rage, feelings of being trapped, a strong urge for vengeance, engaging in risky activities, excessive alcohol and/or drug use, withdrawing from people, trouble sleeping, and dramatic mood changes.

Click to Tweet: Mental illness isn’t a personality flaw; it’s an illness that comes on through no fault of the individual who suffers with it. Mental illness is treatable and suicide is preventable. #WSPD

MY STORY

I was 24. I was pregnant with our 2nd child. We were drowning in debt. I mean utilities being cut off, not sure how to put gas in the car, will my card work at the grocery store, DROWNING. Our dream of moving to South Carolina from Pennsylvania became a nightmare. Nothing was what it was supposed to be. We had no family to help with the kids. My husband (at the time) and I had to take turns calling off of work when the kids got sick and couldn’t go to daycare. Not working wasn’t an option. I was given an ultimatum at work. No more calling off or I wouldn’t have a job anymore.

I called and asked my mom for help. Enough money to get our water turned back on. She told us no, they didn’t have the money to help us. I was devastated. Then to top it all off I had a sinking suspicion my husband was cheating on me which I later found out was true. I stuck with him because I was pregnant and couldn’t afford to go anywhere but home to my parents. The cheating continued, the money issues continued, and I decided I didn’t need his help to drag me down after a while. I left with the kids.

I had to live with my parents until I got back on my feet. I feel like I could really write a book about this whole time in my life but we don’t have time for that now. In short, my ex didn’t help with any of the bills from the marriage. Debt collectors were calling almost daily demanding money. I wasn’t receiving child support and I was afraid to ask for it. I felt like the harder I tried the worse everything got until the day my car was finally repossessed. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. I melted to the floor crying. My parents, who were raised on the idea that there is a stigma to mental health and talking about it, stood over me yelling at me to “knock it off” and “stop acting like that” and “If you don’t stop we’re going to take you to the hospital and the hospital would lock me up in the psych ward”.

I ran up to my room to get away from everything, or a least try for a minute. I had one last life line, my boyfriend who I had started dating a couple months after my ex and I separated. I called him and told him I didn’t know what to do anymore and I felt like I didn’t want to be here anymore. He got irritated and said “I thought you were stronger than that. I can’t deal with this. People that kill themselves are selfish. I can’t be with a selfish person”

At that point I had no one but my kids but they were babies. I thought, maybe they’d be better without me. I laid on the floor and thought about the best way to do it. Do I leave a note? No, nobody cares. I laid there crying and contemplating until at some point I fell asleep. The weirdest part. When I woke up, I was renewed. Like, a fire was lit inside me. My whole frame of mind changed and I started fighting. I had to hit rock bottom to get there I guess. Thankfully I never did the things I was thinking about. I still have depression and anxiety that I really feel stem from those couple years of my life and some of the bullying in high school. I can honestly say I’ve never been that low again and my life and mindframe is in a much better place now.

The only thing I can say is, if someone reaches out to you upset, talking things they don’t normally say, please listen. You don’t have to solve the problem, sometimes you just need to listen or maybe a little reassurance.

THE TOUR

Book lovers from all over the world have joined together to share their stories and spread mental health awareness. Please follow this tour guide to find our posts and to enter our giveaway for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card and a Book Lovers Unite for World Suicide Prevention Day 2020 t-shirt:

P.D. Workman, Author

Triple A Book Blog

Jessica Burkhart, Author

Here Is What I Read Blog

Crossroad Reviews

Jazzy Book Reviews

Book Corner News and Reviews

I Love Books and Stuff Blog

Luv Saving Money

Debbie Manber Kupfer, Author

Ash Ineski, Author

Allie Burton, Author

Book Butterfly in Dreamland

Sara Crawford, Author

Tawdra Kandle, Author

Quinn Loftis, Author

Kat’s Indie Book Blog

Day Leitao, Author

Steph Weston, Author

Lanie Bynum, Author

L.B. Carter, Author

Holly and Mistletoe

Eva Pohler, Author

THE GIVEAWAY

From September 1-10, enter for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card and a Book Lovers Unite for World Suicide Prevention Day t-shirt. There are lots of ways to enter below–choose one or all. You can also tweet daily for extra entries. We’ll email the winner by September 11th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP

1. On September 10th at 8 p.m. your time, light a candle to remember all those we have lost to suicide and to represent the hope of preventing suicide. People all over the world will be participating. You can send an ecard in 63 different languages to invite others to participate. Find the ecards here.

2. Purchase a Book Lovers Unite for World Suicide Prevention Day 2020 for $20. For every shirt sold, five dollars is donated to the International Association for Suicide Prevention. Order yours here.

3. Spread the word about this giveaway, to encourage more people to read our posts and tweet about overcoming stigma. Use the share buttons at the bottom of this post, and

Click to tweet: #EntertoWin a $50 #giftcard and #Tshirt while fighting #stigma and spreading #mentalhealthawareness for #suicideprevention #WSPD.

OTHER RESOURCES

Here are videos on suicide and mental helath that I have found to be helpful:

The Bridge Between Suicide and Life

You’re Still Here: Living After Suicide

This Is for All of You in a Dark Place

Suicide Is Preventable


About Angie

I'm a wife and a a mom of 4: 3 boys and a girl. I also have 3 fur babies, cats named Soleil, Luna, and a Savannah cat name Malkia. I work part-time outside my home as a COTA/L at a local hospital. I cover Johnstown, Altoona, and Pittsburgh areas. I love to do reviews and host giveaways for my readers. Contact me: angwith4 at gmail dot com if you would like a review.

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