In Shruthi’s own words:
Peyton Heart Project Ambassador Essay: By Shruthi Ramasamy
One million people die every year by suicide. Every 40 seconds, a person takes their own life. For every suicide, twenty more have attempted suicide. Why? What prompts one to take their own life? What causes someone to feel so hopeless that they CHOOSE to take their OWN life? Depression. Insecurity. Bullying. Hopelessness. “Failure”.
Amanda Todd, Tyler Clementi. Jovan Belcher, and Lucy Gordon. They were all people who died by suicide. Many people just heard about them on the news or read articles about their suicide, felt bad, but then moved on. I know I was guilty of that, too. I never understood why they would take their own life. You never think that someone close to you will do that, until they do… May 2, 2018. My perspective changed on the whole topic of suicide.
Originally, I learned about depression and suicide in health class, but never took the program to heart. I would go into health everyday, sit down for 45 minutes, get up and move on. I had never even fathomed what kind of impact one person taking their life would have on their loved ones, and what struggles that individual would have been going through to come to the conclusion that suicide was their only “hope”. However, on May 2nd, I woke to news of my neighbor who had died by suicide. It was so unbelievable, especially since she was always happy and didn’t show one sign of depression. Now, her three kids, the youngest of them entering first grade, are left motherless. I remember when I was younger, my brother and I would go play with her kids. She and my mom got along very well, and she managed to convince us of “crazy” theories. I still recall how my neighbor had convinced me that an evil blue genie lived inside every blue ice pop, so if we ate them, the genie would get mad and turn us into an ice statue. Looking back, I can’t imagine why I would believe that, or anything remotely close to that theory. However, seeing how my neighbor’s suicide affected our entire community, her kids, her husband, her friends and family…that’s when I realized that so many mental health programs are in place today, but mental health is still overlooked. It’s not treated as something harmful and although people realize the effects of being mentally “weak”, no one does anything about it. It affects so many people throughout the world, whether it’s in the form of depression, PTSD, [etc].
I heard about The Peyton Heart Project by finding a heart myself. It had such a motivational phrase on it, and also the title on the bottom of it. I was curious as to what it was, and did more research online.
The Peyton Heart Project is a tremendously helpful organization that raises awareness for suicide [prevention] and other mental [health] issues. The hearts are tagged with kind and motivational words, also helping reduce the number of suicides. I view it as a project that gives hope to people, changing many many lives or simply just making someone’s day.
Being an ambassador means I would get to take part in this amazing process of raising suicide [prevention] awareness, which I think needs to be addressed as soon as possible. The words that are tagged help people realize that there is something to continue to live for, and make many people’s day.
My ideas for The Peyton’s Heart Project stem from my own personal experiences. I would like to start an event, going as publicly as possible, on mental health awareness. If a celebrity could speak out, suicide, self harm, and many other metal health issues would be more recognized. The Peyton Heart Project could also team up with a local suicide hotline center and help raise awareness.