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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Hush! The Quiet Epidemic Called Suicide

USC’s MSW Programs Blog Day.

This is a different kind of post. I will share a topic that is personal and not easy to discuss. However, in honor of World Suicide Prevention Day (9-10-13), I am going to share a story of a young woman who tried to commit suicide. I hope this story will not only bring awareness, but be inspiring as well.

“Just go on and do it. No one will care anyway,” an inner voice says as she lies in bed. No one is home. The TV is off. So is the radio. She lays there staring up at the ceiling. She could still hear the laughter from inner-city youth pointing at her calling her everything but her name. “My name is…,” she would tell them. The response, “Shut up you fat bitch!” She remembers the chain being snatched from her neck from a boy. He looked like he could be 17. As she gets on the bus, she sees him running alongside the bus, swinging the chain in the air, laughing at her. He wanted the gold chain her mother gave her. She wishes he took the gold chain instead of the one her grandmother gave her before she died. The next day, she told the teachers and security staff at the junior high school she despised. Since the incident happened not far from there, she figured something could be done. “These things happen,” a teacher told her nonchalantly. She didn't know that the kids in her class already knew about the incident. They laughed and called her “stupid” for not running after him. She hated that boy who stole her chain. She hated those kids and that teacher who said, “These things happen.”  A year later, she and her friends were held up at gunpoint. A bunch of puny seventh graders pointed a gun at her while threatening to kill her and her friends. A police report was filed. Nothing ever happened. She saw those same kids in the school she despised.

She remembered the first time she told a boy she loved him. He chuckled telling her, “I don’t date fat girls.” The next time she told a boy how she felt, he said he loved another girl. That girl didn’t love him, but that didn’t matter.  At 16, she felt she knew what love is, by 20, she knew what it felt like, and by 25, she understood what a relationship is. At 27, she experienced real heartbreak. “You know how much I love you. You know I didn’t do what you said I did,” he said to her after destroying her innocence. “No means no,” she said wiping away tears. His arrogance made him blind to the reality. He thought money would fix that reality and make it go away. The scars remain unseen. They will never go away.

The bottle of pills is on the nightstand. She begins to cry as she opens the bottle shaking out a handful of pills. She takes a gulp of water and begins to swallow. “Oh Lord, please forgive me. I just want the pain to go away,” she says. She begins to feel sleepy and closes her eyes. She felt someone shake her shoulder saying her name. When she opened her eyes, it was her mother.  As the mother asks about the woman’s day, she is confused. “How am I awake after taking those pills?” the woman says to herself. Later that night, the woman prays asking God for forgiveness. She vows to never think or attempt to take her life again. She knows how precious life is and believes there is a tomorrow. She wants to experience that tomorrow.

I have been ever since.

Suicide prevention is critical in our society. Thinking about suicide is just as serious as attempting it. Awareness and communication is important to prevent this epidemic from reoccurring.

Spread love instead of stigma.

Together we can help people cope with feelings of suicide through empathy, understanding, and taking the time to listen.

For more information about suicide prevention or how to raise awareness, please visit my school's (University of Southern California) campaign here:


  1. Wow, this was a very moving and difficult piece write. Your words are very poignant and concise. It took a lot of courage to share your story and I'm sure there are many who can relate, maybe attempted to or tried to take their life. If this story can save one life then your words were not in vain. I thank God for all those who considered suicide but by the grace of God did not. I personally thank God for you because I know you have more to give, more work to do and more smiles to share. May God bless you always and keep you surrounded in his light forever. Love mom.

  2. My name is Emma Barrett and I am an Actress/Filmmaker in Los Angeles. I am in the process of raising funds on Kickstarter to make a film based on Simone Back and the shocking true story of her suicide announcement on Facebook that was ignored and ridiculed. This film will hold up a mirror to today’s society and will address the desolate human disconnection that we self-generate with the fear of not being "perfect" or "normal" in society. When it's actually the imperfections that make us human... and vulnerable... and beautiful. To check out my Kickstarter campaign, please visit