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World Suicide Prevention Day This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day. Unfortunately, most people have never heard of it. I think this needs to change. I know that not everyone has been affected by suicide, especially not to the extent that I have. However, raising awareness of suicide is a vital step to preventing it. This is the aim of World Suicide Prevention Day. It is important to me to inform more people about this day because someone very dear to me attempted suicide.

On that fateful day, my mom came home to tell me that Emma, my older cousin whom I'd looked up to my whole life, had cut herself with knives. She was trying to kill herself and had not told anybody how she felt. I remember asking Mom why anyone would do that. She replied, “Bullying. That's why.”

For a while after that, my mother was even more protective of my brother and me. We had dealt with bullying too, though not to the extent Emma had.

It was not until I was much older that our family learned exactly why Emma started cutting herself. Some girls at her school had found out she didn't like boys and were making fun of her. Because of those girls, almost everyone at her high school learned about it too. Teens can be extremely brutal and their constant bullying sent Emma into a deep depression. The only thing that made her feel better was cutting. Scary as it is, this terrifying habit is becoming very widespread.

Luckily for our family, Emma never succeeded in her attempt to take her life. Her mother saw the scars and immediately got Emma the help she desperately needed but was too afraid to ask for. Looking back now, I believe she is happy to be alive. Seven years later, she helps kids struggling with suicidal thoughts or behaviors by showing them that they matter and people love and care about them.

World Suicide Prevention Day is dedicated to honoring those lost to suicide, and bringing awareness to the horrifying facts that on average, 3,000 people commit suicide every day in the United States. In addition, 60,000 people attempt it daily. That is an astonishing number. The worst part? Suicide is a one hundred percent preventable cause of premature death. With proper help and treatment, fewer people would ­attempt to kill themselves.

On Suicide Prevention Day, you can take action to show support. One is to write the word “Love” on your wrists. People may stop to ask what this means, which I had happen when I participated last year, and I had the chance to educate them about suicide prevention.

In the past several years, many nonprofit groups have begun to support suicide prevention and education. One of these is the organization called To Write Love on Her Arms. This organization is a nonprofit group that strives to assist any person struggling with addiction, depression, self-injury, and suicide – and they raise money so that proper treatment is available to those who need it.

With the help of organizations like To Write Love on Her Arms, suicide awareness is on the rise. Hopefully this progress will continue and one day we may have a world not plagued by suicide. I sincerely hope stories like my cousin's will help.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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