This post was submitted by Christine Moore and is part of our September Suicide Prevention Month series.
I cannot believe it has been a whole year since we lost Jack. Jack was that kid that really seemed to have it all. He was handsome, athletic, smart, lived in a beautiful town with lots of friends and family that loved him. But none of this prevented Jack from losing his battle with depression and anxiety.
The day before Jack died, I sat on the couch with him talking about what was bothering him. I will never forget him telling me “I just want to know what it feels like to be happy. Truly happy.” I remember telling him “lots of people feel the way you do!” and his response was “Then why doesn’t anyone talk about it!” Wow!! This is so true for young adults that live in a world where social media makes them think that EVERYONE is having such a great life! EVERYTHING is great in other people’s lives.
I have spent the last year struggling to come to terms that my love for my son wasn’t enough. Some days I can’t help but feel like I should have done more for him. I was talking with my daughter about Jack and his pain. I said to her “I just wish I had known how desperate he felt.” And she responded “Mom, he didn’t want anyone to know. He was ashamed of how he felt. He was suffering in silence.”
So I have made it my mission in my little town to start talking about mental health issues. To bring attention to it. To make the school system pay attention to it. We must start talking about it openly and honestly. Talking about depression and suicide does not make someone commit suicide. Mental health is important as physical health. If your child had cancer you would be telling the world about their struggles. Depression and anxiety are no different.
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “BRAVE” to 741-741 to reach Crisis Text Line. Both services are available 24/7 and will connect you to a trained specialist.