Friday, November 2nd at 5:30 p.m. on DPTV
We need to talk about risk factors and triggers and warning signs. We need to talk with friends, co-workers, family members and neighbors. Because the fact of the matter is, if we do not start talking about suicide, this public health crisis will impact each and every one of use at some point in our lives.
Just ask the parents of Nicholas Klingler, who took his life in 2017 at the age of 17. In hindsight, they can see the warning signs, but along their journey with their son’s depression, there wasn’t enough time or resources to address his personal crisis. They lament what they didn’t know and didn’t know how to say. In his mother’s words: “I wonder if he could have talked about it…I really do think things would be different.”
Too many among us are shouldering the burden of depression, anxiety and mental illness alone. Even those who by outward appearances seem to have it all, may be at risk for suicide. Take a look at Will Heininger, a former U-M football star who appeared to be on the path for success. But Heininger battled depression on his own for quite some time before finally speaking up and turning to counseling. Now he talks about depression and mental health and suicide publicly, as a program coordinator with the University of Michigan Depression Center.
Heininger and the Klinglers are two of the stories featured in a new 30-minute documentary, “Singing Kevin’s Song”, that will premiere on DPTV on November 2 at 5:30 p.m. This compelling short film highlights the work being done in our state to erase the stigma associated with mental illness and raise awareness for suicide warning signs and prevention.
As you watch “Singing Kevin’s Song”, you can’t help but hear the same resounding theme: we need to talk about suicide. From the mental health professional working to stem the tide of suicide amongst men ages 25-64; to the guidance counselor who is working tirelessly to equip her student body with the tools to help themselves and their classmates; to the parents who are mourning the loss of their son gone too soon, the common refrain is: we need to talk about suicide. If we do not offer an opportunity for those struggling to have these conversations, we leave them to fight an often-losing battle on their own. Many who need help never make it to a mental health professional so it is up to us – the family, friends, neighbors and co-workers – to recognize the warning signs and have the tough conversations.
We need to talk about suicide.