World Suicide Prevention Day 2023
World Suicide Prevention Day 2023: A Call to Reach Out and Save Lives
by Sophia Stimpson
September 10th marks World Suicide Prevention Day, a day when we come together as a global community to raise awareness and provide support to those who may be struggling with their mental health. Today, I share my personal experience of losing my cousin, Krystian Sambucci, to suicide at the age of 26. His tragic decision continues to reverberate within our family, serving as a reminder of the importance of reaching out, seeking help, and letting others know that it's okay not to be okay.
Krystian was more than just a cousin to me; he was a father, a son, a grandson, a brother, and a nephew. He possessed a warmth and kindness that always managed to brighten up a room. Yet, behind that smile, lay a darkness that none of us truly understood. Despite his loved ones' unwavering support, Krystian couldn't find solace in the midst of his deep pain, leading him to make the devastating decision to end his own life.
Losing Krystian to suicide has left an indelible mark on our family. The void he left behind is palpable, and the what-ifs plague our thoughts. We cannot help but wonder if there was something more we could have done or if we missed any warning signs. The truth is, sometimes the struggle is hidden so well that loved ones are left completely unaware until it's too late. This heartbreaking truth reminds us of the importance of proactive care, understanding, and reaching out.
As I reflect on Krystian's death, I implore everyone to break the silence surrounding mental health. It is vital that we create an open and accepting environment where people feel comfortable reaching out. In our fast-paced world, it's easy to overlook signs of distress or assume someone else will take care of it. But let us not be passive in the face of this growing crisis. Let us be proactive in offering kindness, compassion, and support to those who might be struggling.
Being there for someone in need can be a powerful intervention. Sometimes, a simple conversation can make all the difference. Encourage your friends, colleagues, and family members to share their burdens, offering them a safe space to express their emotions. Be present, listen without judgment, and validate their feelings. Remind them that they are not alone, and that help is available.
When it comes to seeking professional help, resources like Samaritans, Mind, a General Practitioner, or the NHS 111 service can be invaluable. It is crucial to let people in crisis know that reaching out for support is a sign of strength, not weakness. Mental health professionals are trained to provide guidance, offering strategies for coping and helping individuals navigate their way toward healing.
On this World Suicide Prevention Day, let us come together to break the stigma surrounding mental health by openly discussing our struggles, fears, and vulnerabilities. By doing so, we create an environment where reaching out feels less intimidating and more natural. Remember, it's okay not to be okay. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of courage and resilience.
Losing my cousin Krystian to suicide has forever changed my perspective on mental health. The pain of his absence is immeasurable, but I hope that by sharing our story, it will encourage others to reach out, provide support, and prioritize their own mental well-being. Let us work tirelessly to foster a culture of empathy, understanding, and proactive care. Together, we can make a difference and save lives.