This post was originally posted on the Our Lived Experience blog I help manage. The entries haven’t been rushing in and at first it didn’t seem that obvious why. It’s a damn good giveaway, but the problem is the competition itself. I’ve asked around and most blamed it on people either being lazy or not inclined to share such a personal experience for the whole world to read.
I get it. I really do.
I’ve attempted and thoughts of trying to escape this world, often plague my mind. So I’ve been there. What I’ve also experienced, is being too ashamed to talk about it. So ashamed that it made things seem bleaker, darker.
I was advised to change the competition.
But I’m reluctant to do so.
The whole point of this competition was to encourage the creation of conversations around suicide and self harm especially in South Africa. Yes, Janine Binneman had to get likes, but I think we can argue that ‘likes’ do not trump the creations of meaningful discussions and coming to grips with the importance of mental health, stigma and so forth.
Stigma is rife because we do not talk. If we do not talk, we cannot understand. If we cannot understand, we cannot help. And if we cannot help, we cannot give hope.
South Africans, here is your opportunity share raw emotion, real experience. Truth. Not for the sake of jewellery and likes on Facebook, but because your mental health is important. I hope this competition, this opportunity, provides you much healing.
There’s always help. There’s always hope.
April is known to be Fools’ month but our topic today is no joke.
Suicide is a very personal topic hence we don’t like to talk about it. The idea of our loved one suffering so much that they would rather kill themselves sends a shudder down our spines. But maybe if we open the floor to conversations exploring the feelings behind this need to leave this world, we could put an end to the shame that often is a driver to pushing us further to the edge.
The Semi Colon Project is an international drive that provides hope to those who suffer from mental health issues like depression, anxiety and self harm. One is encouraged to tattoo or mark one’s body (more commonly the wrist area) with a semi colon. Our prize sponsors, Janine Binneman Fine Jewellery, have especially designed pieces of Jewellery with semi colons to coincide with the tattoos, “This is our message to all people suffering with their own personal demons and mental health issues. We salute your strength and perseverance.”
We invite you, our readers, to dig deep and share with us your most intimate story.
We want to celebrate your life by giving two lucky readers a silver semi colon ring and a necklace by Janine Binneman Fine Jewellery.
All you have to do to win is
1. Email your #SpeakUpAboutSuicide story to firstname.lastname@example.org AND
3. Share this post on Twitter tagging @JanineJewellery and @life_ole. Hashtag #SpeakUpAboutSuicide
It’s time to #SpeakUpAboutSuicide.
Winners will be chosen and contacted on 6 May 2016.
Winners must reside in South Africa.
Winning stories (*Names may be omitted) will be published on Our Lived Experience on 8 May 2016.