Guest Spot by Jeff Tripp
On September 27, 2018, our daughter, Camryn, ended her life by suicide, thus bringing an end to a lifelong battle with mental illness that most did not know she had. On the outside, Camryn appeared normal, engaging in activities that others her age were involved in. But she could never understand why she felt the way she did. She was a gifted singer and student, but her greatest gift was the ability to “act” normal and say all the right things. It wasn’t Camryn’s responsibility to reach out for help. She tried many times, but it was the misunderstandings of those who loved her that allowed her to take her own life. It is these misunderstandings that our foundation hopes to change.
Camryn’s story is unique, but it is not necessarily an untold story. Each year thousands of young people make the same decision: to walk away from their pain and their suffering. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-24, yet it is the one topic we don’t discuss.
Suicide does not discriminate. While most people who make the choice to take their own life suffer to some degree from mental illness, suicide has become an option for anyone struggling with life in general. Young people who just have a bad day can make that choice and are doing so at an alarming rate. On average, 5 out of 30 young people will consider suicide, 4 will make a plan to commit suicide, and 2 will actually attempt suicide. Females will attempt 3:1 more times compared to males, while males will succeed 4:1 more times compared with females.
While it can be difficult to recognize the signs, 80% of those who attempt suicide showed warning signs of their intentions. These might include thoughts of suicide, anxiety, or depression. It could simply be a feeling of overwhelming helplessness or a feeling of “no escape” brought on by rejection, hurt, or anger. The Say Something Foundation aims to help not just those afflicted with suicidal thoughts, but anyone who feels a struggle to get through life. The foundation was founded in memory of Camryn, and it doesn’t promise to put an end to suicide. Instead, the mission and vision is to raise awareness for those who are in the struggle, in addition to providing resources for those who need the help and/or want to help in an effort to reduce suicidal attempts. The organization is made of up nearly 100 volunteers, mostly young students, who are trained on the signs of suicide and how to handle someone who might be struggling. Volunteers are trained to “say something” when they feel it is appropriate.
To Say Something is to encourage others, but it also means to identify those in the struggle and have the courage to reach out and offer help. In addition to these effort, the Say Something Foundation offers scholarships to seniors, grants to groups, resources for families, small support groups, and grief support groups. In the past two years, approximately $30,000 has been raised and been used for scholarships and helping those in the struggle by either providing them support or helping with medical costs.
If you want more information on suicide or have an interest in educating yourself to help someone, please contact the Say Something Foundation at 314-520-7103 or 314-623-0164 (call or text). You can also email [email protected].
Guest Spot by Jeff Tripp. Learn more about him and the foundation he started using the button below.
The Say Something Foundation is hosting their first cornhole tournament at the farmers’ market pavilion on September 26, 2020. For details, you can check out the Facebook event page.