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Suicide Prevention

My Story

I am not alone with the impact of suicide. Like thousands within the country my experience starts at a relatively young age. I have never shared this with anyone. Not even a mention to my kids until they were adults. As you get older you discover that sharing may just help someone else and helps to get past my own concerns.

I was in just 6th grade when I first experienced the impact that suicide can have on someone. One of my fellow students after walking home like any other day opened the garage door to find her mother had died by suicide in the garage. It was years before she was able to reflect something near “normal”. No child should ever have to experience this.

I lived in an upper middle-class home, never really wanted for much. By all appearance’s life was good but behind the walls told a different story of a dysfunctional home that was hid very well. Fast forward to the summer when I was just 16 years old. My family was traveling to Europe and I remained at home. After attending a party and a fair amount of drinking we got into a car and went speeding down the highway. I was sad, depressed, and unhappy and this was the moment that I had enough.

As my friend sped down the highway at somewhere around 80 miles per hour, I decided I would jump out of the car and it would all be over. I opened the door and made my move. Fortunately, God was watching over me that night. My friend saw what I was doing and all I remember was a sharp tug on the back of my belt and pants. He reached over and grabbed me and pulled me back in to the car. He saved my life and my future!

The impact on my life continued with a high school friend taking his own life. In college the party lifestyle only provided more challenges. See for me subconsciously and reflection years later I may have tried to drink myself away. For my birthday freshman year, it started with 40 – 5 oz. tap beers in little over an hour and then off to drink for the night. I could drink with the best of them, liters a night was easy. Had it not been for the love of my now wife and a good friend there is no telling what would have happened to me.

I have known several that are close to me that have struggled with mental illness. Manic depression is serious business and has an impact on every element of that person’s life as well as those around them. It takes intervention, medical assistance, and love, lots of love to support these people.

The great news is that I am able to share just a piece of my story and the impact of suicide and mental illness. Due to the quick thinking of a friend, love of a good women my story continues with a happy story. As of the end of 2020 I have been with my wife 36 years and been married for 32 years. We have two amazing kids, one crazy cute granddaughter and another grandchild on the way early next year.

Data

Research shows that mental illnesses are common in the United States, affecting tens of millions of people each year. Estimates suggest that only half of people with mental illnesses receive treatment. Suicide is a major public health concern. Suicide is among the leading causes of death in the United States. Based on recent nationwide surveys, suicide in some populations is on the rise.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) WISQARS Leading Causes of Death Reports, in 2018:

  • Suicide was the 10th leading cause of death overall in the United States, claiming the lives of over 48,000 people.
  • Suicide was the 2nd leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34, and the 4th leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 35 and 54.
  • There were more than two and a half times as many suicides (48,344) in the United States as there were homicides (18,830).

More information available on the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (https://afsp.org/).

NEED HELP?

If you are in crisis, call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-TALK (8255), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

The service is available to anyone & all calls are confidential

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Donations

Given the impact on my life and the importance of making an impact on someone else’s we are proud to be donating a portion of each purchase made to the prevention of suicide and support of mental illness.

We greatly appreciate your support to us and our ability to donate to support what we feel is such an important cause.

Gratefully,

Tim Wirtz

Founder, Husband, Father, Grandfather

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