New York, NY – Sad news struck the Hudson Yards on July 29, when a 14 year-old boy jumped from the development’s centerpiece structure to his death. This is the fourth suicide since the 150-foot tall Vessel tourist attraction opened in 2019. At the risk of mentioning the contagious nature of suicide clusters, perhaps it is time to open real lines of communication and prevent any further attempts.
The 14 year-old reportedly leaped to his death in front of his family without warning after playing with his little sister. If, for no other reason than the tragedy of a young boy who is gone too soon, we need to start talking more about mental illness and suicide prevention. There needs to be more open discussion and less judgment; moreover, we need additional training in both personal and professional settings to help create a better sense of awareness and understanding amongst each other. We need to rid shame and judgement from our vocabulary, so that we can listen non-judgmentally and reduce the number of suicides.
According to the CDC, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S. for all ages. There is one suicidal death for every 25 attempts, which means the numbers related to suicide are more astounding than they first appear.
So, what do we do? Do we build better barriers? Do we close tourist attractions like the Vessel at Hudson Yards? Or do we learn how to talk to each other?
Regardless of the act itself, most who struggle with suicide are people who want to live. In cases of emotional blindness, however, it is difficult to see another alternative. Therefore, suicide has been termed a permanent solution to a temporary problem. But how do we address this?
Fortunately, there is help. There are options such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline which is available 24 hours-a-day by calling 800-273-8255 — and if you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, please do not hesitate to reach out for help. Remember, the life you save just might be your own.
On a personal note, as someone who has volunteered for many suicide prevention hotlines and different recovery programs, this subject hits home with me for reasons that extend far beyond this article. So, if you ever find that there’s no one around to talk to, look at my email address at the bottom of all my articles. You can always reach out to me. This way, we can find the appropriate help — together!
Ben Kimmel is a proud member of the IUOE Local 94, as well as an Author, Writer on thewrittenaddiction.com, Mental Health First Aid Instructor, Certified Addiction and Recovery Coach, Certified Professional Life Coach, and Peer & Wellness Advocate. Ben can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org