CAMDEN I found something really wonderful last week while trolling some of the news feeds to which I subscribe.
If you’ve ever read some of my Monday morning emails, you can tell that I’m a person who loves motivational/inspirational quotes.
(Yep. I’m that person who has motivational calendars that have beautiful photos of nature scenes - like an eagle in flight with mountains in the background and the words: “Find your wings and soar.” It’s corney, yes. But I need a little corny in my life.)
The way I see it, people can always use a little someting to keep them going - especially when it’s hard to find sources outside yourself that give you the ‘thumbs up”when you really need it.
(Look, the struggle is real.)
And speaking of struggle, there are some who may be finding the struggle of this thing called ‘life’ a little too much to take. And due to whatever circumstances - such as the loss of a loved one and the overwhelming grief that comes with it; depression and feelings of worthlessness; physical or mental challenges - some have considered suicide.
As I said earlier, I was surfing a website that gives news in different categories, and I’ve bookmarked the one called “Wellness.” In that category, it gives advice about diet and exercise, healthier eating, and mental wellness. Through this venue, I found an article about Find Your Anchor which was described as “a grassroots movement aimed at suicide prevention, awareness and education.”
Remember the fad where people would get rocks, paint cute items or uplifting words on them, and place them in random spots throughout the town?
This is similar to that.
The physical form of Find Your Anchor is a small blue box “packed with various materials designed to inspire, soothe and offer support.” These boxes - much like the cute rocks - are then planted in public places such as at the library, the park, etc. to be found by those in need; specifically those close to suicide in one way or another.
“Mission: Simply put, the goal of the Find Your Anchor project is suicide prevention, awareness, education,” according to the website.
“The premise behind Find Your Anchor is that each person needs an anchor. “Establish an anchor — a dependable, stable, secure base that you can hold on to, one that keeps you firmly planted, no matter what winds or storms may come.
“The boxes are intended to be organic in the sense that each person can add to the box their own inspiration and anchors before passing it along.
“The box is yours for as long as you need it, no strings attached. However, when you find yourself in a better spot, consider passing it along to someone else. When you are ready, add your own anchors, resources, or whatever you like to the box and put it out in the world.
“You can pass it on personally by giving it to a person you know is in need, or you can launch the box anonymously.”
More information about Find Your Anchor can be found on Instagram @findyouranchorbox; on Facebook at facebook.com/findyouranchor, or the creators can be contacted via email at [email protected]
And the website gives some really staggering statistics about suicide in the United States:
• There are an estimated 44,000 suicides per year and 1,124,125 attempts.
• Globally, there is one suicide about every 40 seconds.
• In the U.S., there is a suicide every 13.7 minutes.
• Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death for Americans.
• Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for Americans age 15-24.
• Males die by suicide four times as often as females, but there are three female attempts for every male attempt.
(The Find Your Anchor website states that its sources for these statistics are the AAS Facts About Suicide and Depression; World Health Organization’s Suicide Prevention Fact Sheet: AAS 2010 Suicide Final Data; and CDC Suicide Fact Sheet.)
Anyone who is struggling and needs an Anchor box can get one at no charge by visiting www.findyouranchor.us.
For those who want to support the movement, donations can be made at that site, too. And for those who can afford to pay a little toward mental health, the box costs $25 and helps support the group’s efforts.
Now I’m not so sure about placing little blue boxes around the area - and it is a powerful idea. I just hope the boxes would be used for its intended purpose, and you’d have to get permission from the establishment where you want to place the box.
(Let’s be honest, some people are wacko.)
But if someone here wanted to start something like this - with the Find Your Anchor group’s permission, of course - it would be great to maybe place them in clear containers so that everyone can see what’s inside.
We’ve had instances of people committing suicide in our area for as long as I can remember, and sometimes all it takes is for someone to show another person that the person is valued, loved, heard, and important. I believe that these little anchor boxes - and the reason behind them - could save a life.
If anyone has an idea about implementing something like the Anchor Boxes in our area, contact me at [email protected], or call me at the Camden News office at 870-836-8192.
In the meantime, listed below are the contact information to groups that are dedicated to helping those who are struggling:
National Hopeline Network
SAMHSA’s National Helpline
Veteran’s Crisis Line
Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN)
24-hour Chat: online.rainn.org
24-hour Chat (Español): ohl.rainn.org/es/