This has been a tough week to get through. Earlier this week the world was shocked and saddened by the news that fashion designer, Kate Spade, had committed suicide.  Now, Friday morning we get the equally shocking and saddening news about the death of Anthony Bourdain. The beloved chef, author and television host also committed suicide. Don't forget about Avicii either. He committed suicide in April of this year.  Now is the time to not only take some time to talk about suicide but to really take a look at what an impact suicide has on this country and all over the world.

People reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that suicide rates has risen in almost every state in the country. "Suicide rates have increased in 44 states, among all racial and ethnic groups and in every age range except adults older than 75," People reports. "In half of all states, suicide rates increased by 30% or more."

I can't ignore this. Mental illness is alive and well, and we have to open the door for conversation in order to bring awareness and erase the stigma. I personally deal with my own demons. Their names are depression and anxiety. I am also taking action to help myself by seeing a counselor and seeking help medically. I say this proudly because I am not afraid to admit that I have these issues that I am working through. Have I thought about suicide? I have. Am I the only person in the world to think about it? Of course not.

There are ways to seek help, but for me the hardest part was coming to terms with asking for it. I wanted to be strong and handle things on my own, but that isn't the reality of my situation and that is okay. There are multiple of resources that are available to every one and any one. There is the suicide hotline which is 1-800-273-8255. There are multiple counselors and doctors in our area that are willing to help those in need, but we also need to be a friend to those who need help.

As Michael Jackson once said, "If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change." We also have to look within ourselves and see what we have to offer to those who need help, because that person could be a family member or a friend.


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