• For those with wings fly to your dreams

    Save life, not face.

    According to the American Association of Suicidology, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. In 2011, 39,418 suicides were reported. Suicide is the 12th leading cause of death in the United States. (2012)

    I've talked a few times about suicide prevention on the blog.  And the recent suicide death of Robin Williams, brought it back into light why it’s so important. The reaction to his death brought up another important point, the pressures that people face.  While I was aware that Robin Williams had suffered from depression many people were so surprised that him, a comedian, would die that way. 

    So many people wear a mask, while they are silently struggle. Afraid to talk to even their closest loved ones because of the stigma behind mental illness. Thinking themselves a failure rather than some one who is has a health condition that needs tending.  In fact, sometimes the people in lives encourage this. “Just suck it up” “Put on brave face”.  As an engineering grad, I saw it manifest another phrase “Maybe you just can’t hack it (as an engineering student)”

    A few years ago I saw an article on the "most stressful colleges" in America. One of the parameters, "Does it have a STEM program?"  I'm glad I never saw that while I was a student, that can be very disheartening. Just knowing the fact your major exists makes the school a more stressful place.

    College is quite an experience for young adults as it, add to it 18-20 hour semesters, math problems that take days to finish, and yes even the fact of missing out on fun some of their friends have.  MIT has one of the highest suicide for a college in the country and many other high on the list are known for their Science Technlogy Engineering and Medical (STEM) majors. Often times when an engineering students attempts suicide, they return school and the consensus becomes “ they just couldn’t hack it”.   To me that’s the same as telling a football player broke their leg, they just couldn’t “hack it” as a football player.  It’s true that some people do find that changing their major is the best option for them but with proper support from family, university , and specifically their department I feel many people could still succeed.

    I look back at the people in my life I’ve known who’ve died from suicide and the celebrities whose talent I admired. They all seemed to be on top of the world.  I wonder, did they have someone to talk to? Did it even occure to them? Having a mother who’s a “mental health expert” <- she hates it when I call her that, but because of her I knew about mental health from a very early age and all the forms it takes. Just like physical health, sometimes it’s very temporary like a cold or average headache like when you have nightmares and can’t sleep all weekend, sometimes it’s more like a broken leg like when someone close passes away or postpartum depression, and sometimes it can be something you have to manage your whole life like diabetes or asthma.  Such as me and my ADD.  Most days I can focus decently, some days I am amazingly productive…then there are days when I forget what I’m watching on tv in between commercials, lol.

    I did want to end this serious topic on a lighter note.  Talk with your friends, family, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc. Don't be afraid to express your feeling and in turn don't be afraid to listen. I'm awful at giving advice but I can still listen. Life isn’t about saving face, it’s about living life.  Through failures and good times, it really is all worth it.

    The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is available 24 hours every day with trained counselor available to assist someone in crisis. 
             1-800-273-TALK (8255)        



    About me

    I'm a 20-something Southern girl living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I've been working in the wild and wacky world of non-profit green construction in one way or the other for over 3 years. I'm also the owner of Oakland's own Engineered Cupcake.