72 petitions

Started 1 month ago

Petition to National Alliance on Mental Illness, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, , Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Merriam-Webster

Change the Definition of Suicide

Every day is a tough day to cope with losing a loved one by suicide. The holidays only bring up more memories and, often, more pain and grief. As a nonprofit organization that promotes awareness of suicide and mental illness and that provides support for those affected, i understand calls on the American Association of Suicide Prevention and the National Alliance on Mental Illness to change the definition of suicide on their websites and in their literature, or to add this new definition on their information pages about suicide.   Rather than including the outdated, stigmatizing definition about intentionally taking one’s own life, we believe wording should focus on suicide’s tie to mental illness and pain. The definition should be changed to, “a terminal side effect of mental illness; the result of wanting one’s physical or emotional pain to end.” Suicide is often a terminal effect of a mental illness. Alternatively, one does not need to have been formally diagnosed with a psychological disorder to suffer with pain. Depression may be triggered after experiences of heartbreak, bullying, financial loss or even a broken leg that caused physical pain and/or difficult changes in lifestyle. Thus, it is time to change the definition so that any and all of these circumstances can be discussed openly and honestly, providing relief and hope for those struggling.   Vonnie, the founder of i understand, lost her husband to suicide, and many of our supporters are survivors, as well. We believe that a change in the definition will change the way we all speak.   For example, if you ask how Vonnie’s husband died and she answers, “He killed himself,” how does that make you feel? Or If she answers, “He died from depression,” how do you feel?   Likely, the two answers will lead to very different conversations, the second resulting in a discussion about the illness.   We believe it’s important to talk about WHY someone died rather than HOW someone died by suicide. And those reasons revolve around an illness or pain so deep that the person sees no other way to manage. We need to focus on the mental illness or pain leading to the death – the causes and symptoms – rather than the act itself. This will increase understanding and reduce the stigma attached to suicide and, in turn, will save lives. A simple change in language can impact those struggling with mental illness, their loved ones, and survivors of suicide loss.   We call on AFSP and NAMI to be the first to make a public move affirming this definition by including it in their literature and websites. We believe this should be a movement across the world in mental health organizations, schools, families, dictionaries, psychological organizations, and social circles. Change the conversation with those around you – you never know whose life you could be impacting. AFSP and NAMI - it's time to take action.  i understand is a nonprofit organization based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, promoting awareness of suicide and mental illness and providing support for those affected. We hold support groups for those who have lost a loved one to suicide and we host free monthly community events. We have partnered with Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, where we have funded a Clinical Nurse Specialist who educates about mental health in the traditional hospital setting – the first position of its kind in the country. Our nurse works with staff on using proper language around mental illness and on finding appropriate treatment for patients. Additionally, we provide care packages for those affected by a mental health crisis at the hospital. Visit our website at or find us on Facebook by searching i understand or #iunderstandloveheals

i understand
4,184 supporters
Update posted 1 month ago

Petition to Department of Education

Its time to talk. Its time to teach students things that actually matter.

School prepares us for collage not real life.In a this day and age not a lot a people go into professions that even require why am i taught to solve xa+17=55 instead of how can i keep my best friend from killing herself. I propose that we make a class that not only talks about important things like past historical wrongs. I want this class to be 100% unbiased and 100% inclusive. So when people sign the petition i ask them to write down a topic they want to see talked about. Here are some of those topics,mental heath issues, religon,suicide,politics,gun voilence education,immigration,how to handle stress effectively, anxiety and depression, and finally family issues. Im 13 years old and ive had to stop my friend from killing herself multiple times. I have to talk her down at 3 am. We should teach kids the signs and how to help. Not only for suicidle kids but for mental illness.If you think that kids dont talk about religon think again. My friends and i had this huge fight at lunch because of was christian and one was atheist. The christian didnt like that the atheist was an atheist.lets teach kids everything is equal.politics should be taught not only just because voting is important but because most students dont even know if they are democrat or Republican. Please sign this petition to teach them things that actually matter. And please sont forget to put a topic that you want to see talked about.

Amber Starr
140 supporters