Last week the world was hit with tragic news. Two that particularly left us all shaken were the death by suicide of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. We quickly turned to our families, friends, online community and everyone we loved to talk about it. We simply could not believe it had happened. These were two very admired, talented artists and one could have imagined they were happy and all feeling good with life due to their success. So what went wrong?
Above all they were human – we are all unique and we come with a set of traits that evolve and can certainly be complex as we react to life. While we can't analyze their particular situation, we do know that our sisterhood is full of creative, talented, successful go-getters, and beautiful humans like them; we want to be there for you. So we turn to you and talk about this topic because we believe support is what we need.
Yes, support is what we need. These words mean the world to us and we want to hold your hand in your entrepreneurial journey; not only giving you tools for success and celebrating your achievements, but also supporting you in times when things do not work out.
If you are stuck, if you can't see the light, if you do not find a solution, turn to your sisterhood, we are holding your hands. Also let's all of us be proactive in giving that support, in paying it forward and in creating a strong chain of love. Let's do this by checking in on our friends, having meaningful conversations, breaking down walls, being kind, doing something special for others.
We truly believe that support is what we need. Like Christine Gutierrez, licensed psychotherapist and life coach, shared: Support is Key! Support Gives Hope!
We’re also sharing these very helpful tips Susana Marquez, a licensed marriage and family therapist and certified maternal mental health clinician in our community, prepared especially to share with you. These are important to know when offering support to someone who is having suicidal ideation (the thought of ending their life).
- Please do not judge someone in therapy. Therapy is not a luxury for the privileged or for “crazy people.” Therapy is a necessity for everyone. We have all had or will have difficult times. We have needed or will need the support of a professional at some point in our lives. Lets encourage seeking support. If someone goes to the medical doctor to take care of their physical health, why judge if someone seeks a mental health professional to take care of their mental and emotional well-being?
- Do not label or define someone by their mental illness. Please stop dehumanizing people. Give people their value and worth. We do not label people by their physical illness and it should not be done with a mental illness. For example, a person with cancer is not defined by their illness so someone with depression and anxiety should not be defined by their mental illness; they are human first and foremost. We must show empathy over everything. No one is depressed or anxious. They have a name and their mental illness does not define them.
- Talking about suicide DOES NOT cause someone to attempt or commit suicide. On the contrary, checking in with someone, showing them you care and support them can be the catalyst in that person’s emotional and mental well-being.
- People who attempt or commit suicide would give signs in their behavior and demeanor. ABSOLUTELY NOT! People suffer in silence. After years of shame, guilt, and isolation, they may have learned to mask their feelings well. DO NOT ASSUME SOMEONE IS FINE BECAUSE THEY SMILE. Ask them how they are doing, check in with them via a phone call, text or stopping by to visit. Talk with them NOT to them. If you don’t get a response to give up, just show up at their door. Give them space to feel what they are feeling, they don’t have to talk and neither do you; they will just know you cared enough to go check up on them with your presence.
- Suicide is not a selfish act. Suicide is the only answer to how that person is feeling. They truly believe others would be better off without them. The pain and suffering they are experiencing is too much to stand and they can’t anymore.
- Please do not tell someone with depression, “Why don’t you get help?” A huge part of depression is feeling mute to reaching out for help. Feeling an immense sense of heaviness to seek help. It’s debilitating, it’s numbing and a feeling of being frozen. So instead, YOU reach out to that person and be their bridge in getting them the help they need. Go with them to their appointments; offer to drive them if they agree.
- If someone is actively having thoughts of suicide, ask them how often they are having those thoughts. Ask them if they have a plan and if they have the means to commit suicide. Ask them if they have attempted suicide before. Ask them reasons why they would not commit suicide.
**If you have any questions or need support yourself, reach out to your support system and remember to take care of yourself too! Taking care of someone having suicidal ideation can be exhausting on you too! Please do not forget to take care of YOU too.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255
National Suicide Prevention Hotline (Spanish) 1-888-628-9454
California Youth Crisis Hotline 1-800-843-5200
Call 911 or go to the nearest ER if someone is actively a danger to themselves or someone else.