Why did Mark Henick choose suicide?
Mark Henick’s Ted Talk, “Why we choose suicide,” Henick explains that suicide prevention “is opening doors, raising your voice, and sharing your experience.” He was barely a teenager the first time he tried to kill himself. He recounts being in middle school, sitting across from his guidance counselor and all he could think was “you’re not good enough, “you’re not smart enough, “these were the constricted limits of his perception.” He was holding a knife to his throat when the same school counselor wrestled him to the ground. Sadly, this wasn’t the only time he attempted suicide. He then tried to jump off a freeway overpass as he once again heard that negative voice telling him, “you’re not good enough.”
How can we help prevent suicide?
Henick asks that we “stop saying that people ‘commit suicide,’ especially since suicide was decriminalized in the United States in the 1970s. And because suicide is a public health concern not a criminal one.” We know that 90% of people who die by suicide have a diagnosable and treatable mental illness at the time of their death.” He believes conversations about suicide are what will keep people alive. The grip that suicide has on people will lose its voice if we have the courage to start talking about it.
Resources for getting involved in Suicide Prevention:
The American Association of Suicidology has published a Nation Suicide Prevention Week information and media-kit, “Challenging our assumptions and moving forward.” World Suicide Prevention Day is September 10th.