Can we finally talk about suicide, and do something about it?


August 17, 2018

OK seriously, I mean it... We need to talk about suicide.



How many more times are we going to hear about it? Another veteran, musician, family member, fashion designer, TV host, teenager, or Fire Fighter is gone. Suicide was the reason.

What is going on? Why? Mental health, addiction, isolation, heartbreak, work pressure, money, bullying, or all of the above. 

We have lost some of the most prolific artists of our genre. Kurt Cobain, Chris Cornell, Chester Bennington, Brad Delp, Michael Hutchence, Keith Emerson, Ronnie Montrose, and a host of others. It's actually depressing looking at the list. And that doesn't include those deemed "accidental overdoses" like Tom Petty or Prince. 

So what is it?

According to the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention: Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US. Each year 44,000+ Americans die by suicide. That is like the population of my hometown of Leominster dying every year. (Leominster was the suicide capital of the US in the mid 80's. There was a suicide cluster in my High School that left a scar on my community. Everyone knew someone.) For every suicide, 25 attempt. Suicide costs the US $69 Billion dollars annually.

According to the data, MA is below the national average. But Nationally 123 people die by suicide every day. EVERY FUCKING DAY 123 families are shattered. Firearms, Suffocation, Poison are the top 3 ways. 

Just this week Huntress lead singer Jill Janus died... by suicide. LZZY Hale of Halestorm went on social media asking people to "out themselves" if they have ever struggled with mental health issues. She said #raiseyourhorns

Well, mine are up too. Thankfully, I've overcome everything shitty that life has thrown my way, and trust me there has been plenty. Just ask my divorce attorney. But for so many others, they feel alone, helpless, like they are a burden, and everyone would be better off without them. Well, that's not true.

I spend so much of my time, working with our troops and veterans. We have all heard the 22 a Day stats on Veteran suicide.  It's why I am proud to work with organizations like 22KILL, that focuses of Veteran empowerment, raising awareness, educating, and building a tribe of support. I am proud to wear my Honor Ring to identify myself as a veterans advocate. But it's not just veterans, it's all of us. Last year I hosted "I'm Listening" a 2 hour suicide prevention show with The Samritans, who are doing amazing work. Samaritans works to prevent suicide and support those who have lost someone to suicide. Each year, 300+ volunteers answer more than 75,000 calls and text messages on their Helpline. Call or text Samaritans’ 24/7 statewide Helpline at 877-870-4673. Whatever the reason, you will get help from a trained volunteer offering non-judgmental support. Their crisis Helpline based in Massachusetts is confidential and free. Click here for more help.

Sometimes people will just not ask for help, they won't reach out. So, we need to. In this time of shitty politics, of social media making us antisocial, or keyboard warriors saying online, what they would never say in person, the world is a hard place to be alone. So, have you not heard from a friend in a while? Not seen your neighbor lately? It's time... It's been time. Lets be a little more human, and lets start now. Pick up the phone, shoot a text, stop by for a visit, send some flowers, whatever it takes to just let someone know that they are not alone, floating around on this big blue rock in space. Tell them you love them, that you miss them, that you need them, and just be there. You could save a life, or someone could save yours. 

Join me this Sunday for the Ride of Your Life