Every year she comes back and asks us to donate to AFSP. Blahblahblah. Hand outstretched yet again. We get it. Your husband died. But that’s your cause that ain’t mine. “Please donate to our walk.” “Please help end the stigma associated with seeking help for mental health.” “Please help end suicide.” I’ve heard that request before… again… and again… and again. Rinse. Wash. Repeat. Or it’s “Please just walk with us.” Like I have nothing better to do than walk with sad people on a Saturday in October. It’ll probably be 105° just like every other day in Texas. Plus, I have a Halloween party to go to. My makeup isn’t applying itself. Who has time for two hours outside. Hello? And don’t get me started on those cheesy incentives. Lady, no one wants your haiku or to see you poorly act out a scene or sketch or whatever it is you’re asking us to bid on. And seriously, is one of the higher-end incentives a “pay to come and play with you”? WTF? Let me just say that slowly in my head: I.. am
paying donating (semantics) to hang out with you. Are you actually kidding me right now? I see through that one!
Ohhhh… and now a Silent Auction??? As if I wanted to attend the longest-running music program. I can get into an Austin City Limits taping whenever, bruh. Guaranteed tickets to the Houston Opera? Yeah. I have connections. A stay in a adorably quaint town in Colorado with some of the best BBQ in a nearby neighboring town. Dude, have you even been to Hutto? We have that here.
HEAR ME OUT!
The Why of Why I’m Asking… AGAIN
Let’s start with the facts:
- Suicide is the 12th leading cause of death
- In Texas…
- it is the 11th leading cause of death
- it is the 2nd leading cause of death for ages 10-24, and 25-34
- (Have you been to a funeral for a teenager who’s died by suicide? I have. It was one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve ever experienced. Watching teen after teen stand up, stand before a crowd sobbing as they expressed confusion and heartache for two straight hours of eulogies was profound. It was overwhelming and gut-wrenching. Another friend’s daughter lost a friend to suicide over the summer. When do we say enough is enough? When do we start having those real conversations where we talk about this openly and candidly?)
- In Texas…
- According to the Veteran’s Administration 2022 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report:
- Among Veterans between the ages of 18–44, suicide was the second-leading cause of death.
- In each year from 2001 through 2020, age- and sex-adjusted suicide rates of Veterans exceeded those of non-Veteran U.S. adults.
- In 2020, 45,979 Americans died by suicide
- In 2020, there were 6,146 Veteran suicides.
- In 2020, there were an estimated 1.20 MILLION attempts
- The rate of suicide is highest in middle-aged white men.
- In 2020, men died by suicide 3.88x more than women.
- On average, there are 130 suicides per day.
- White males accounted for 69.68% of suicide deaths in 2020.
- In 2020, firearms accounted for 52.83% of all suicide deaths.
- Almost three times as many people died by suicide in 2019 than in alcohol-related motor vehicle related accidents.
- 93% of adults surveyed in the U.S. think suicide can be prevented.
But that’s all statistics – numbers can be hard to relate to…
So, all of that is why I ask you to support this cause (again). It’s why I ask you to walk with me (again). It’s why I ask for you to pick yourself up and go outside on October 29th at 9 AM wherever you are. You don’t have to be in Austin, TX to show support. I ask because I want you to help me. I want you to be part of the solution that drives those numbers come down. I want to see REAL change to how we talk about this topic and how we address mental health care in this country.
… and if all that takes is offering up a bad haiku, tickets to Austin City Limits or even a chance to Explore Archery then it’s worth it.
A huge shoutout to all of our donors who come back each and every year! and to our walkers! You’re making a difference! We wouldn’t be successful without your continued support.
And a special shoutout to one of our donors who is trying to single-handedly carry the Silent “Let’s Get Loud” Auction. Thank you!! Hopefully, you’ll get some competition soon or if you don’t, you have a lot of fun date nights coming up. 🙂