Skip to main content

When you take on a cause that is near and dear to your heart, do you ever get a vacation? I’m here to tell you that you don’t, but that’s ok. Your cause needs you.

My cause is suicide prevention, and I did not pick it; it picked me. I lost two brothers to suicide eleven years apart, and after years of silence, my heart felt the tug to do more, and here I am the executive director of the Half a Sorrow Foundation, where we aim to improve mental health by promoting real conversations.

We just celebrated a very important holiday in America, Memorial Day, where we remember those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom, and most of us had Monday off from work. A three-day weekend is an absolute gift, and I was looking forward to “punching out” from work, but when your misery becomes your mission, you sort of sign up for a 24/7/365 commitment. It just comes with the turf, and days like this Saturday will just happen.

What happened on Saturday? We lost a high-profile athlete to suicide. Professional golfer, Grayson Murray died by suicide on Saturday. You can learn about Grayson here: https://youtu.be/ap2NwJKATbg?feature=shared

Because of what I do—suicide prevention—my phone and social media accounts were blowing up with this news, and this happens with almost every celebrity suicide, and I am fine with it. It’s in the job description, but I think of all the losses as the same. One loss to suicide, whether you are famous or not, is too many, and suicide is preventable. I’ve prevented a couple, and I know others who have as well.

Suicide doesn’t really care about your place in society. Years ago, I was asked to write a DEI statement for our foundation, and I came up with this: suicide does not discriminate, and neither does the Half a Sorrow Foundation. My board liked the sentiment, but rejected it based on brevity, and now we have a more robust statement. I was not trying to be flippant with this statement. I just know that after years of doing this work, and on a larger scale, mental health does not care about your race or ethnicity, your religion, your country of origin, your gender identity, your sex, your abilities or disabilities, your spoken language, your age, or any other way we differentiate ourselves. Suicide does not care.

This weekend, we lost a pro athlete playing a game he loves to suicide, and if the statistics hold true, we also lost 136 other people on Saturday to suicide in the United States alone. Countless others thought about suicide as well. Share that sorrow, and if you have no one to share with at the moment, call 988, the suicide prevention lifeline.

Grayson Murray and the other 136 people we lost on Saturday, you will be missed. You will be missed.

 

#mentalhealth