This is part of a series of stories to bring awareness to the issue of suicide, in honor of National Suicide Prevention Month. If you or someone you know needs support, contact the 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
“Daddy, daddy, daddy, come back!”
The 3-year-old cries from her bed.
“Daddy not coming back?” she asks between tears.
But she knows the answer. Her father, Denny Bates, died by suicide in March.
“I miss Dada,” she said.
The heartwrenching Facebook video posted in June has received more than 10 million views and has been shared more than 150k times. Titled “The reality of suicide,” it’s just one of multiple video and blog posts Dani Bates has posted to raise awareness about suicide and reduce the stigma around talking about it.
“It’s so visual and real and raw. I think that’s why it’s important to share the videos,” Bates said. “I could talk about Winnie’s grief all day, but seeing it and hearing it does something to a person. It hits so much harder.”
Opening up to strangers
From vlogs to Instagram campaigns, more and more people are taking to social media to share their stories.
A photo of Nik Bonkoski’s daughter taken the night before her dad died by suicide has received more than 600,000 shares and 44,000 comments on Facebook.
This is a picture of my daughter the night before her Dad took his own life,” the caption reads. “The worst thing that had ever happened to her was dropping her ice cream cone at the county fair.”
The post goes on to say the 4-year-old asked her mom what “die” meant — something, Bonkoski wrote, the child didn’t fully understand for weeks.
Vulnerability on social media is shifting feelings around sharing these types of stories elsewhere.
“People are much more willing to share their story,” said Doreen Marshall, vice president of programs for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
It shows, “’I’m not alone. This other person struggled and I can see that they were able to recover,’” she said.
For the full story: https://www.rewire.org/living/social-media-talk-suicide/