Dear Editor,

Suicide. It’s a word many people are too afraid to say. It shouldn’t be; this is a conversation we need to be having, with our friends, our family, co-workers and even complete strangers. For years I felt shame and guilt over how my battle with depression wasn’t important; that fear is a liar! My battle along with anyone else’s struggles with mental health is a conversation worth having.  

Growing up in Johnson County, I’ve learned we always love and support each other through the ups and downs of life. Starting the discussion of the importance of mental health is one we need to start having. Mental health is not biased on your gender, race, social standing or even your income. Depression can fall on anyone at anytime. My biggest wish for anyone struggling is to know that is OK to not be OK. There are several accounts of this community coming together to help one another. Start reaching out, checking in on those you love and even the strangers in passing.

I can say I haven’t met or talked with one person who hasn’t been personally touched by suicide; we all know someone who has died by suicide. The lows of mental health is a battle many people fight. Our mission with the Johnson County Suicide Prevention Coalition is to prevent suicide through public awareness and education; eradicate stigma; and serve as a resource to the community – especially those affected by suicide.

Your life matters; no one has to fight this battle alone. If you or someone you know is struggling, reach out, get connected. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, every day: 1-800-273-8255; or you can chat online: www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org; the Crisis Text Line is also available: Text WYO to 741 741. Our local mental health center is 684-5531.

Arianna Prescher, Member JCSPC

Buffalo

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