Written by Melvin Tunstall III
World Suicide Prevention Day is September 10. It’s a time to remember those affected by suicide, to raise awareness, and to focus efforts on directing treatment to those who need it most. More than 800,000 people die by suicide and up to 25 times as many make a suicide attempt each year, according to the International Association for Suicide Prevention.
Although Broadway has always been an advocate for those who struggle with mental health issues, Dear Evan Hansen directly tackled the feelings of isolation that can affect young people who struggle to fit in, make friends, and deal with mental health difficulties like depression. Evan’s story brought the perfect message for those young and old who struggle with isolation and mental health challenges: You are not alone.
Here are several great resources devoted to mental health awareness and encouraging those who feel lost or in crisis to reach out.
The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to provide support to people in crisis. Anyone can call this free and confidential service at 1-800-273-8255. Additionally, suicidepreventionlifeline.org offers resources to young people, survivors of loss, LGBTQ+, veterans, and more.
Use the tag #BeThe1To on social media to share the message of hope and help this September during National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month!
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24. Every day, The Trevor Project saves young lives through its accredited, free and confidential phone, chat, and text messaging crisis intervention services. A leader and innovator in suicide prevention, The Trevor Project offers the largest safe social networking community for LGBTQ youth, best practice suicide prevention educational trainings, resources for youth and adults, and advocacy initiatives.
Please support Trevor: A New Musical beginning performances October 25th!
The Crisis Text Line aims to reach people when and where they need it. Unlike phone calls, individuals can text silently and from any location. This confidential service has received more than 100 million messages, not only related to suicide prevention but any crisis or call for help. The line has branched out to Canada and the UK, and seeks volunteers to be trained as counselors. Text from anywhere in the USA to reach a trained Crisis Counselor, 24/7:
This independent, national nonprofit remains committed to increasing awareness and advocacy for mental health issues related to children and young adults. The website includes a Symptom Checker and a variety of resources for parents to handle topics such as bullying and helping a child to socialize. Teachers can find strategies to recognize learning and mental health disabilities and respond to traumatic events, among other issues. The Institute also leads brain research to better understand mental health disorders. They operate an in-person clinic as well.
WATCH: Dear Evan Hansen actor Alex Boniello opens up about his childhood experience with anxiety.
TheaterMakers, we hope this finds you all well but please know if you are struggling with any mental health issues- indeed you are not alone. Please take advantage of the resources available and know you have so much support surrounding you during these difficult times.
So let the sun come streaming in
‘Cause you’ll reach up and you’ll rise again
Lift your head and look around
You will be found.
THEATERMAKERS SONGS OF HOPE and ENCOURAGEMENT SPOTIFY PLAYLIST
1. You’ll Never Walk Alone (Carousel)
2. Not While I’m Around (Sweeney Todd)
3. Raise You Up/Just Be (Kinky Boots)
4. Seasons of Love (Rent)
5. Climb Every Mountain (Sound of Music)
6. Hope (Groundhog Day)
7. Unruly Heart (The Prom)
8. So Much Better (Legally Blonde)
9. Breathe (In The Heights)
10. Our Time (Merrily We Roll Along)
11. No One Is Alone (Into the Woods)
12. The Song of Purple Summer (Spring Awakening)
13. The Impossible Dream (Man of LaMancha)
14. I’d Rather Be Me (Mean Girls)
15. You Will Be Found (DEH)
Listen to our Spotify playlist here.
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