Before You Give the ‘Say No to Suicide’ Advice, Read This - Olawunmi Adegoke

This might be a bit controversial, as it’s not the usual thing we hear often, but I feel a great need to write this.

The latest phrase in town, all around social media, is: “Say No to Suicide.” Don’t kill yourself.
A lot of people have come out to say they were depressed at one point or the other in their lives. And Say No to Suicide may seem like one of the most fanciful things to say, especially by people who advocate for proper mental health care for everyone. But while it may seem like a proper thing to do, most often than not, it’s medicine after death.
Recently, I heard of a young champ, a writer, who ended his life for some reason or the other. He posted his farewell post on Facebook, detailing the trauma he’d experienced dealing with depression. As I heard, this wasn’t the first post he put up on this subject matter. He put up one sometime last year, in 2018. I ask, what happened between then and when he ended his life? Did his friends and people around him read the post as another great poetic write-up? Did anyone reach out to help him? Or did they just scroll through and like the post. Well, I don’t have the details, but I am going to make some assumptions from what I see and experience daily.
Life, as we know, comes with different opportunities and challenges we all have to face. Most times, what leads to this depressing state is when people are burdened and don’t have an ear to care and listen. A lot of times, those around them are too busy to even notice when something is wrong with their next door neighbour.
So here’s my thought.
What if we lived every day actually caring for each other genuinely? If we lived each day as though we aren’t the only ones here on earth, found time to actually connect with people. Then maybe people would be able to share the challenges they are going through with us. So many times, people play the I am busy figuring out my life game, that they rarely notice what others around them are going through. Depression is real, and so should be given the necessary attention.
Here is what I am saying.
Take notice of the people around you, their mannerisms, how they feel and relate. Do not always assume that people are fine. Pick up your phone and call people. Don’t allow social media deceive you and make you feel everything is fine. Notice the people around you, look out for them. I know that everyone has personal challenges they are going through, but just before someone in your circle ends his/her life and you post the tribute on your social media platforms with the Say No to Suicide caption, ask yourself, did I care enough to reach out to help when they were still alive?

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