Sadly, opening up about mental health is still a taboo!
“Into the Dawn Walk” is a march for families and relatives of victims of suicide and emotional crisis. At 5 am, I walked with my mom to support this cause! The event took place near the Raouche area, Lebanon. Pigeon’s rock is a famous touristic attraction of the Mideterranian sea. This majestic place witnessed happy moments and miserable ones.
On September 10, 2016, I learned that the phrase”I am going to Raouche” could herald a disaster. It is a secret code of the unsaid words:” I am going to end my life! I am not coming back! Goodbye”. That day, I learned that every three days, one person puts an end to his/her life.
That day rang the bell for an important global problem: “Suicide”. Families and friends of people who lost their lives for a mental illness gathered to raise awareness. It was a hope for the families who lost someone dear to their heart. The sidewalk was studded with paper bags. The paper bags were loaded with lit candles. Handwritten phrases made the bags speak. “Untie the knot”, “Of course, I will wake up”, “But in the end, one needs more courage to live than to kill themselves” were few to mention.
At the last station, people have centered around a cylindrical monument. There, many stories and wishes were written. I cannot forget the scene of people holding the black markers and jotting down sincere wishes for their lost ones. The most emotional message was: “Jad, you are here today with us, in the deep blue sea”.
Another story impacted me deeply. One day, the authorities found a note left by a young man before he ended his life stating that he has never heard the word “my love” in his life. One week later, they found a similar note of a young lady. What if these two found each other, would that have saved their lives?!
The name says it all: ” The Dawn” marks a new day and carries a new spirit. Preventing them from committing suicide needs bravery, planning, and support.I learned that a simple “I love you” can stop the train thought of a tired person. A true hug can turn his/her life into a haven! It could be done by embracing their emotions and teaching them how to open up and seek help. The committee in charge proposed establishing a hotline for emergencies. It was an incredible initiative and the event was a great chance to raise funds for this cause.
A final note: Shaming someone for having an emotional crisis/ mental illness is a real shame. Just like any other illness, it deserves full attention and care. Simply, because no one is immune and support is mandatory!
- The pictures were taken on Sep 10, 2016, by my Samsung device.
- Location: Raouche sidewalk, Beirut, Lebanon.