This Suicide Awareness Month: Go Ahead; Politicize Suicide Prevention

Gabriel Nathan
3 min readSep 23, 2023
Go ahead; politicize your fucking ass off. We do it every day. (Author selfie of author and author’s car.)

“Don’t politicize suicide prevention,” they say, while forcing LGBTQIA+ kids into the shadows and into the closet.

“Don’t politicize suicide prevention,” they say, while waving thin-blue-line flags one day, and busting cops’ heads at the U. S. Capitol the next.

“Don’t politicize suicide prevention,” they say, while there’s a youth mental health crisis and kids are afraid to go to school for fear of getting shot dead in their classrooms, and teachers are quitting in droves because of the same fear and because religious zealot school boards are banning books, whitewashing curricula, banning Pride flags and the word “gay” in public schools, and enforcing Draconian demagoguery wherever they can; chilling free speech and expression in environments where it’s supposed to flourish.

“Don’t politicize suicide prevention,” they say, in America, where there are (probably) more guns than people, and where just having a gun in your house triples not only your risk of dying by suicide, but the risk of every single person in that house. Where over 1/2 of all suicides use a firearm, where 2/3 of all American firearm deaths are suicides.

“Don’t politicize suicide prevention,” they say, while the bodies on the left and the bodies on the right pile up, and the numbers get higher. Provisional data for 2022 has the U. S. at just about 50,000 deaths; up from 2021.

Want to do something useful in 2023 as far as suicide prevention/awareness goes? How about we start telling the fucking truth, for once, in this country.

This country that can’t be made “great again” because it never was. This country that is built on hypocricy and lies; that alienates and others and smiles to your face but knifes you — no, shoots you — in the back once you think you’re safe, because you’re never safe here. You’re never safe. Not from angry white people with guns — not from the cops, not in your churches or especially your synagogues or your mosques, not in your shopping malls, or your supermarkets or your workplaces, and you’re certainly not safe in your own brain; bombarded by insidious and unrelenting divisiveness, poisonous debt, relentless demands and expectations, constant self-doubt, hateful rhetoric, disgusting comment…

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Gabriel Nathan

Gabe is Editor in Chief of OC87 Recovery Diaries, a mental health publication. He is a suicide awareness advocate and is attracted to toxic car relationships.