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Suicide Prevention and the Quest for Happiness

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September is National Suicide Prevention & Awareness Month. All month long, the National Alliance on Mental Illness is publishing submissions.

The Quest For Happiness 

I knew I needed to make a change in my life. I no longer wanted to live behind the mask that portrayed an infrangible false happiness. I wanted the smile on my face to be genuine. I asked myself, what can I do to make a change? The only answer I could come up with; start doing things that make you happy. Sounds easy enough, right? Much to my surprise, it was that easy. I just hadn’t been making an effort.

We spend hours dwelling on anger and resentment. We seek therapy and advice when trying to understand our sadness. What if we devoted the same amount of time and energy to our happiness?

I have battled with depression, agoraphobia, and self-harm for several years. I’ve had a few unsuccessful suicide attempts and I’ve been in and out of psych wards.  But one day I decided that I wanted to be here. I didn’t want to end my life. So I made a list of all the things that I felt would bring me some joy. The list was much longer than I had predicted it would be. One by one, I started doing things on that list. I made my happiness a priority. 

I created The Quest For Happiness in an attempt to understand what makes people happy. It is my hope that it will lead to a better understanding of my own happiness. I hope that by sharing my journey, others will be inspired to make happiness a priority in their own life.

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September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month—a time to share resources and stories in an effort to shed light on this highly taboo and stigmatized topic. We use this month to reach out to those affected by suicide, raise awareness and connect individuals with suicidal ideation to treatment services. It is also important to ensure that individuals, friends and families have access to the resources they need to discuss suicide prevention. NAMI is here to help.

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