Talking about Mental Health: Affecting family, friends
The CDC says suicide rates are rising across the United States.
Since 1999, nearly half the states in the U.S. saw suicide rates increase by more than 30 percent. These deaths make a lasting impact on family and friends.
“My brother thought it would leave us in a better place if he left us. He left a note saying that he just was existing, and he didn’t feel like he was contributing to society and being a part of our world,” said Laura Dizon of Plymouth.
Remembering her brother Aaron
Dizon’s brother, Aaron, killed himself four years ago. He was 32. She says Aaron was a musician, an awesome chef, a great dancer, and someone who was kind, outgoing, and funny. Yet inside, he struggled with depression.
Aaron took medication and saw a therapist every month. However, Dizon thinks if her brother would have felt more comfortable talking to people close to him about his emotions, he might still be here today.
When people take their own lives, they leave behind loved ones who are left to deal with a wide range of emotions.
“And it’s also very sudden. It’s not something that you plan for. A lot of diseases, unfortunately, you know that there’s a time limit, and we didn’t know that we had a time limit,” Dizon said. “And you think, it’s every emotion you can think of. It’s anger and it’s guilt and it’s sadness and it’s depression in itself.”
Meanwhile, in the year’s since her brother’s death, Dizon has become an advocate for suicide prevention.
You can also check out our CCX News Special report ‘The Silent Struggle: Talking About Mental Health.’
NAMI Minnesota provides free classes and information for crisis responders, medical and mental health professionals and the general community. If you are concerned about someone or are having thoughts of suicide yourself, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or **CRISIS, or text MN to 741741.