Sharing Kindness challenges the stigma of mental illness, empowering those struggling to reach out without fear of judgement or misunderstanding.
We honor our loves ones by smashing the stigma of suicide.
We show up to honor those lost to death by suicide and to empower those who remain. One of the missions of Sharing Kindness is to smash the stigma of suicide and mental illness. For too long, families and friends who lost loved ones carried shame in secrecy about how their loved ones died. Our family histories include unmarked graves and decades of silence around death.
One of the first steps is recognizing that suicide is not a choice.
Suicide is not about choosing to end life: it is a symptom of an illness. In that dark place – a place people have described as immensely painful and where thought is constricted – there is no choice. Remind people of this. Suicide is not a choice: it is the result of an illness. People don’t choose to have an illness. It is not a selfish act, nor is it a call for attention. It is the act of someone in unbearable pain for whom there are no other options. The idea that suicide is a selfish choice promotes stigma.
Wherever life takes you, find a safe person or place where you can talk about how suicide or mental illness has impacted your life. Your willingness to be vulnerable and brave will bring healing. This is one giant step to smash the stigma of suicide. Repeat often, and the world will slowly get the message.
Our friends at the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Cape Cod (NAMI) have resources, programs, and referrals to help you and your loved ones find support around mental illness.