My life is definitely strange at times, to say the least. While sitting in the middle of Wednesday Night Poetry, I began receiving messages about a public post that was made by another Facebook page concerning suicides in Hot Springs that “tie up” our 911 system.
This language upset multiple people who read it. They commented, were blocked, and then reached out to me. People were asking me to add my input while I was sitting unaware at an event full of humans who were openly discussing how isolating and unaccepting people can be of need.
So here I am, not sure what I can do, sitting here wishing I didn’t feel compelled (once again) to speak my mind.
Grandma didn’t raise a quiet woman. Y’all can blame her if you must.
I briefly read through the post and the comments and said what little can be said on a social media platform to share a resource for those who may be struggling.
When I finally got home, I started to watch a video that was also shared, commenting on substance “abuse/addiction” (the correct terminology here is substance use) and suicide. How people who struggle with drugs become suicidal, and our tax dollars are “being wasted” helping those who needlessly seek help because of their struggles.
The person said there are around three suicide calls per shift on average.
In 2016, I pulled dispatch data from Lifenet for Garland County. That year, we had approximately 1,000 mental health-related calls. Some of those being suicide specific, but mental health calls can be a number of things.
Our first responders do spend time on these calls. And no, they are not always the ideal care for these situations. But they are necessary. They are needed. They are what we have to offer those who are in a crisis.
If we want to look even closer, though. Our first responders are dying by suicide at an even more alarming rate than our civilians. They are struggling and losing their lives to this battle, and a great deal of that is because…
WE, AS A SOCIETY, ARE WOEFULLY UNEDUCATED ABOUT THE ISSUE OF SUICIDE.
All of us. All of us need to know more. PERIOD.
This platform allows anyone to have influence. It gives authority to opinions, anger, poorly thought-out content, and so much more. It allows us to say and speak from a limited perspective and to influence those who believe our words to be based on fact and truth.
Just because you have influence does not mean you are knowledgeable on every issue. I do my best not to speak out on things I know nothing of. It isn’t my place. However, I know a few things about suicide and substance use. Some might even dare call me an “expert,” though I loathe the word.
Language matters. Compassion matters. Facts matter. Helping others matters. Safe spaces for discussion matters. Help-seeking behaviors matter. Therapy matters. Medications matter. So many matters.
Language matters.Language matters.Language matters.Language matters.Language matters.Language matters.Language matters.Language matters. Influence matters. Influence matters. Influence matters. Influence matters. Influence matters. Influence matters. Influence matters.
Suicide Prevention Matters.
I will leave you with this quote, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Voltaire
-Susie Reynolds Reece
There are LEO resources through Blue Help