World Suicide Prevention Day 2017
Five years ago, I got a tattoo. It wasn't my first, or my last. But it's possibly the most important.
It was inspired by To Write Love On Her Arms, a nonprofit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. I was in a bad place before getting this tattoo, and I didn't really see a way out. It wasn't easy, because I felt ashamed, but I reached out and asked for professional help. Five years later, my life is full of things that I couldn't imagine were possible in that terrifying haze: a job I love, a husband and baby, and a whole set of coping skills to guide me through the bad days.
There are a lot of NOW 96.3 artists involved in the conversation about mental health. Demi Lovato speaks openly about her bipolar disorder and launched a campaign called Be Vocal, so others don't feel so alone with their diagnoses. Halsey attempted suicide at the age of 17 and now wants to be a mental health role model for her fans - "the one I didn't have growing up." There are so many more, from Lady Gaga to Katy Perry. And most recently, rapper Logic released a song called "1-800-273-8255" - the phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - and gave an inspiring performance at the MTV VMAs along with Alessia Cara and Khalid.
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. I'm able to write this today because at my very lowest moment, I knew there were resources out there that could help. When I see "LOVE" written on my arm, it's a reminder of all the things I have to live for. I'm incredibly grateful to be able to play these artists who use their platforms to bring us all a little closer. And as long as I have a voice, I want to use it to remind others that none of us are alone - and even when you can't see them, we always have hope and love.
We can all help prevent suicide. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals. 1-800-273-8255.
Photo Credit: Niall Carson - PA Images / Getty Images