I just found out today is World Suicide Prevention day. (Thanks to Meg Baker.)
And, since Happion Labs is a company about increasing happiness, I think this deserves a blog post.
Okay, it's weird that we're setting aside one day a year to not commit suicide - seems a little like the 'drug free zones' you might see around schools or what not, is it really going to change anything?
But one day is better than none.
My wife and I have both lost people we love to suicide. I myself spent ten years writing and rewriting a novel about the experience (http://dionysusloggedout.com). In hindsight not the best way to process it.
Short version - suicide of a loved one messes you up for a long time.
Of course, when you're about to commit suicide, you're in too dark a place to appreciate that what you're about to do is going to pass a lot of your pain onto your loved ones.
So let me try to say something positive:
You can control a lot of your unhappiness. Thirty years ago, psychologists were pretty clueless and had a tendency to perpetuate unhappiness rather than fix it. Today therapy is a lot better - they're practically like happiness consultants or trainers. I go to a therapist myself even though I'm rarely depressed! Because I want to be as happy as I can be. But even books on happiness can help as much as therapy: How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky and Feeling Good by David Burns are two I particularly recommend. Oh, and you can check out this website: http://www.raisinghappiness.com/
This may sound weird, but I play a little happiness game. I take the CES-D every week, to track how I'm feeling. http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu. If my scores start slipping or life throws me curve balls I start doing more happiness activities.
Seriously. You can control a lot of your unhappiness.