Trigger warning: This post discusses issues related to suicide.
Saturday, September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day, which also falls during the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's National Suicide Prevention Week. But to bring awareness specifically to this important day and the issue it addresses, Joshua Luke Smith — a spoken word artist and singer — is out with a new song titled "Becoming Human."
"I wrote 'Becoming Human' to connect with the heart of our human story," he says in a release. "In a driven culture based on success and stature, where is the space to become, to grow, to fall, and then stand back up? In reality, we connect at our most vulnerable. We all break sometimes. We all arrived here naked. We don't talk about our weakness enough and that's why I think so many of us feel lonely, isolated, and disconnected."
Indeed, Smith's words connect on what is often a complex issue. According to a large panel of experts, multiple causes — such as depression or other psychiatric illnesses (which may not have been recognized or treated), and sometimes substance abuse, in addition to those mentioned by Smith — can contribute to a person wanting to take their own life. That same group of experts also says that a single event — losing a job, a divorce, getting bad grades, etc. — is often not solely responsible, as other factors are often at play and could be manifested in a number of behaviors. But this overall message of recognition, encouragement, and hope are some of the reasons why Smith reached out to a U.K.-based organization to spread his words.
"It's a powerful blend of observation and passion for humanity," Smith says. "At the heart of the track is what Samaritans is all about — simple human connection so that a person feels more understood, and less isolated and alone. It doesn't judge and encourages us all to be less afraid to make those connections. As the track brilliantly illustrates, we all have more in common than we have differences."
You can check out the video below to hear Joshua Luke Smith's powerful and inspiring words.
And if you're in a crisis, you can reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK to speak with a skilled, trained counselor who is ready to listen to you.