As a ChicagoNow blogger, I receive a lot of press releases from public relations people trying to promote their causes. I ignore most of them, am amused by some of them, but the one I received earlier this week gave me pause: Why do they think readers of A City Mom need to know about suicide prevention?
Okay, I know. My bad. I shouldn’t make fun of such a serious topic. Not even by pretending to be paranoid. Or even just slightly neurotic (and please, will the Society for Slight Neuroses not put me on their mailing list.)
The amusing PR emails came from a woman who seemed very nice, albeit cloyingly persistent, who kept trying to get me to go to a new mom and kids coffee shop so I could blog about it. If only she read my blog. Then she would have known how much I would have given anything for their little café to have existed ten years ago. That was back when I would pay money to leave my kids with a sitter, so I could escape the chaos of my house and go to a coffee house, where I’d hoped to get some work done, only to find the coffee shop was just a budget version of Gymboree.
Her emails were more annoying than those moms at Starbucks who let little Finn and Emily run wild, while they talked loudly about how they'd invented motherhood. I finally got tired of the coffee shop lady's pestering emails and actually wrote her back. I told her I thought I would go to her coffee shop, that my fourteen year-old, six-foot tall sons would enjoy playing on the floor with all the other kids while my twelve year-old daughter did the barista’s hair. I never heard from her again.
And lest you reach for the phone to dial the suicide prevention hotline while waiting for me to get to my point, I found the press release from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention especially compelling. Compelling enough to write about, you know, after I made my few requisite jibes. (Hey, if they read acitymom...)
It said that in the Unites States a person dies by suicide every fifteen minutes. 34,000 people a year. As a member of a family that’s been touched by suicide, I know it's a serious topic that few are comfortable talking about and their message bears repeating. Here's a link to the home page for the Illinois Chapter of the AFSP. AFSP Greater Chicago/Illinois Chapter
The AFSP also organizes Out of the Darkness community walks, and there’s going to be one in Chicago September 24th. Here’s the link: Out of the Darkness Community Walk Chicago
They’re trying to raise $365,000. So, if you can’t walk, you can always make a donation. Just, um, don’t kill yourself. (sorry)
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