David Coy

David Coy

Numerous individuals in our society suffer from some form of mental illness, yet sadly, our society and culture has yet to overcome the stigma associated with mental illness. While society continues to struggle to accept that a growing number of people have mental illness, people are seriously hurting in silence. It is this silence that makes helping those who are hurting difficult.

One such group struggling to cope to overwhelming degrees is those who go on to commit suicide. If you know someone who appears severely depressed for days without end, expresses a helpless or hopeless outlook, discontinues former ritualistic patterns of activity, displays a disruption in eating and sleeping and expresses a desire to die or feelings of a lack of purpose to the point that they believe those close to them would be better off without them, then this should be a huge wakeup call that that person needs immediate intervention. 

A large segment of the population internally feels the way described above, but outwardly, they do not display any of these warning signs. For many their internal struggle remains a secret, hidden from those who are closest to them or interact with them on a regular basis. I can think of three such cases in the past three or four years that readily come to mind. Each of these individuals possessed great talent and potential for the future had they gotten the help they needed. Yet in a moment, they took their life, and those who loved them who remain in this world are left hurting and devastated as well as unable to answer the question, “Why?” While there remains more questions than answers for surviving families, there is also hope to be conveyed to those hurting in silence.

This is Sunrise aftercare, sunrise@sfdcares.com.

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