I have been an Ohio State fan my whole life. For people who are born in Ohio, it is not a choice but simply a way of life to worship the scarlet and gray Buckeyes. Football season is my favorite time of year. I refuse to miss a single game and schedule every important event, including my upcoming wedding, around my Buckeyes.
However, something happened this weekend that puts everything in perspective.
Kosta Karageorge, a fifth year senior on the football team, was found dead near campus due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was twenty-two years old. He is survived by his mother, father, sister, teammates, and all of us in Buckeye Nation. My heart aches for the Karageorge family and for all of the people Kosta leaves behind.
This is not an isolated incident however. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death for Americans according to a 2012 survey.
Suicide is a terrible but preventable tragedy.
If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, do not be afraid to reach out to a therapist for help. Therapists have special training that allows them to help people dealing with a variety of issues including substance abuse, depression, loneliness, relationship problems, and economic worries along with many other concerns. They also have access to resources that can help keep a loved one or yourself safe during troubled times.
You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
It operates 24/7, and it is free and confidential. Call the number if you need help for a loved one, a friend, or yourself. If it is an emergency, you can always contact 911 for help as well.
This is bigger than football.
This is about life and finding reasons to continue living. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, reach out for help. Sometimes the struggle and pain can make you feel like there is not another option. However every life matters, and there is always another option to be found. There is help and hope for you if you ask for it. Do not be afraid to ask for help.