Every Month Should Be Suicide Prevention Month, Not Just September

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Right now in the United States 19% of the population is experiencing depression, with 28.8% experiencing anxiety or depression, according to the CDC Household Pulse Survey. We need to talk about depression and normalize conversations about reaching out for help and experiencing thoughts of suicide.

This post below was originally published on CarolRoth.com here.

September is Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month. From a dhs.gov press release:

By starting the conversation, providing support, and directing help to those who need it, we can help prevent suicides and save lives. If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. You are not alone.

Among the most popular posts on this site are the ones where I cover the shadow side of owning a business, including anxiety, depression, and thoughts of suicide. It seems like we only talk about it when we lose one of our own, and that is a shame. 

We need to take away the stigma around mental health struggles and normalize asking for help. It is pretty much guaranteed that you will have some tough days – or weeks or years – if you run your own business. 

According to the 7th Edition of the Startup Snapshot released this year, “The startup grind takes a major toll on founder mental health – 44% high stress, 36% burnout, 37% anxiety, 13% depression, 10% panic attacks.”

This week, someone in my job search coaching group saw a great job at Zappos. They were excited to apply for it and someone else added how good the book Delivering Happiness was, written by the founder of Zappos, Tony Hsieh. 

Hsieh grew a great company that people loved working for and had customers raving about their experience. Who would have thought that you could order shoes online? He made it work and eventually sold his company to Amazon for $1.2 billion in 2009

He also had a complete mental breakdown and died tragically at 46. It’s unclear whether it was an accident or suicide. I think it was the latter. 

And you might remember when we lost Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade in the same week. I lost my mind and committed myself to talking about mental health for entrepreneurs and corporate employees. I wrote this post for Carol’s blog, “Compare and Despair: Entrepreneurs and Depression.” In it I said:

Entrepreneurs are guaranteed to have a roller coaster of experiences, including big highs and big lows.

We can get through this together. You are not broken and you are not alone. We need you and your magic.

If you’re struggling with depression, please reach out to friends, family, counselors, or therapists.

Or reach out to me.

Please know that help is available and you can get through this.

If you want strategies for how to navigate the inevitable ups and downs of owning a business, please pick up a copy of my book, This Isn’t Working! Evolving the Way We Work to Decrease Stress, Anxiety, and Depression on Amazon here – or wherever you buy books. 

If you are struggling or in crisis, call or text 988. 988 serves as a universal entry point so that no matter where you live in the United States, you can reach a trained crisis counselor who can help.