Help me raise some freaking money…
My Mom would be 65 today.
Holy shit. Happy Birthday Eileen! ☺
Anyways, I’ve been subconsciously putting off this post for way too long. I thought about telling a story or sharing some of the wisdom my Mom dropped on me. Or painting broad strokes about her life.
But there’s too much to say about Eileen, and any effort to paint a full picture of her amazingness would be in vain anyways because:
- My writing simply isn’t good enough.
- Even if it was good enough, the English language ultimately comes up short when it comes to describing the most influential, loving people we’ve ever encountered.
So here’s a picture instead ☺. (With Tierney!)
How My Mom Died
I’ll spare you the details, but if you didn’t already know, my Mom died by suicide in 2014 (it was not violent though, thank God).
If you’re curious: My Mom became clinically depressed when her sister died in 2013, roughly a year before this happened, and my Mom had no history of mental illness; ironically enough, she was a childhood psychologist with a Master’s Degree from NYU.
And minus her occasional flying-off-the-handle, she was one of the most compassionate, sane, calm, collected, and loving people I ever knew.
If there’s one thing I’m grateful for, it’s that my Mom was around in good health until I was 26; not everyone who loses a Mom is this lucky. If I’d lost her earlier, I would have been royally screwed. Thanks Mom!
Suicide: Biggest Buzzkill Of All Time?
Anyways, people say they’re aware of the stigma around suicide.
They say that the biochemical model of mental health is real.
They say they know that suicide is not a choice.
That they know someone who died by suicide and they believe that this person’s death might have been preventable given a better treatment outcome.
But the dollars tell a different story.
Consider the following:
- Suicide is the 10th leading cause of preventable death in the US.
- But on the National Institute of Health’s ranking of funding, suicide prevention comes in at #261 in funding, with a measly $22MM in 2014.
- While the ranking and funding shouldn’t necessarily be perfectly commensurate, the spread between a ranking of #261 and #10 is clearly way out of whack.
If $22MM seems like a lot of money, disillusion yourself. In the world of medical philanthropy, $22MM is not even a rounding error on pocket change.
Most funds to fight causes of preventable death measure their funding in billions, not millions.
We need to engineer better systems for suicide prevention.
And in order to do that, we need:
- More awareness.
- More dollars.
Please Help Us Out! Because Your Dollars Matter!
If you’re fortunate enough to have some cash lying around, please help me with #2 (wow, I actually just wrote that). It would mean the world to me and my family, and just as much to the millions of people who are affected by suicide grief every year.
And hell, if you really think I’m a jackass and don’t want to contribute, consider this:
By participating in this event, Shane is agreeing to walk 18 miles from dusk till dawn.
Where I’m from, that is a form of low-grade torture. So take this as an opportunity to get even with me☺
Thank you so much for reading. And a special thanks to all the amazing people who helped me navigate the unthinkable last year. Love you all.