Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, but it can be prevented.
I have lost many friends and coworkers to suicide and responded to many calls for service involving suicide in my over 20 years in law enforcement.
During National Suicide Prevention Week, Sept. 8-14, I will be urging my public officials to prioritize suicide prevention and mental health and to “Be the Voice” for the millions of Americans affected by suicide each year.
To prevent suicide, we need to:
1. Invest in suicide prevention research within the National Institute of Mental Health at a level equal to the suicide problem in our country.
2. Strengthen oversight for mental health parity at the state and federal levels.
3. Fully fund the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255 [TALK]) and local crisis call centers.
4. Make service member and veteran suicide prevention a national priority.
Please join me by calling your members of Congress and your state and local officials to ask them to make suicide prevention the priority it deserves to be. Together, we can save lives.
Love is the answer
The night of Oct. 2, 1968, an undetermined number of students were shot to death on a street in Mexico City. Protesters had taken to the streets to demand an end to police repression, the release of political prisoners and that money be used for social programs instead of the Olympic Games, set to open Oct. 12.
The following morning I boarded a passenger plane in Mexico City and flew to New Orleans. I carried in my pocket three switchblade knives that I had bought for guys that I worked with. There was no body scan, no luggage inspection. The cockpit door was open. Of course, that is no longer the case.
It’s a troublesome time, not only in this country but all over the world. Seventy-one percent of our world is covered by water. More than 7 billion people — and growing. We had better learn to love one another. We are not going to live on Mars.
Gandhi once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” We can all make a difference. We can speak up when we see what we feel is an injustice.
A bumper sticker on the back of my car reads, “I Love You.” Perhaps people who pull up behind me will carry a feeling, a message of love to all they meet that day. Can you imagine millions of people across the world with bumper stickers that read, “I Love You”? We can light the world with love.
The chosen one?
Our elected president, Donald Trump, told the world that he is “the chosen one.” (Normally, I put these three words in capital letters, but that does not seem right in this letter.) To supply context, President Trump said that many previous U.S. presidents knew that China had a trading advantage exporting goods to the United States, and that it fell on him to correct this situation.
But why say, “I am the chosen one?” This religious phrase is reserved for God or Christ across the globe, and is taken directly from the Bible. Was Mr. Trump joking? Is joking about God or Christ what world leaders do? Should they? Some would say, joke or not, it is grossly vain, self-absorbed and sacrilegious.
Charles A. Boggs