On average, every 40 seconds someone will commit suicide.
THAT. IS. CRAZY.
Every 40 seconds someone decides that their life isn't worth living anymore.
Grateful & Company decided to do something special with those 40 seconds to symbolize a couple of things...A) the massive rate of suicide and the shocking frequency of it and B) that we can make the choice to do something positive with those same 40 seconds.
We figured that knowing this statistic and desperately wanting to do something about it would first mean getting people involved. In order to make a change in some form or fashion, people need to become aware of the problem. In light of what we ended up doing (which I will explain towards the end of this post) I was shocked over and over again by the unawareness of the frequency of suicide.
People weren't aware that more than 24 people on average kill themselves daily...people didn't know that every 40 seconds someone felt worthless...people didn't understand how this could even be possible.
I quickly realized after starting the movement that we did (trust me, I promise I will explain what we did towards the end of this post) that we were doing something much bigger than just doing something fun with 40 seconds. We were quite frankly creating waves of shock that rolled off in all directions and dramatically touched people.
So many people that I talk to on a daily basis have either contemplated suicide or have loved ones and friends who have gone through with taking their own lives. Daily I am touched by stories like these, and for me I guess it made sense...the staggering frequency, the disconnect between feeling worthy and continuing to live...for whatever reason my heart was not shocked by this statistic as I hear stories like these constantly.
Instead my heart broke yet again when I shared this with others and they were overcome with shock. People don't know. People are not aware of the frequency and intensity of the situation we are in. People are dying, minute by minute, because they do not feel loved.
So what did we do? What's the point of me saying all of this?
Grateful & Company exists to empower physical acts of gratitude with the intent of lowering levels of depression and ultimately ending suicide on college campuses. If being grateful is scientifically connected to preventing suicide, and in 40 seconds someone will die because they do not feel valued or that there is any good in their lives- why wouldn't we connect the two?
We launched our 40 second gratitude challenge. We challenged our audience to film a video of themselves reflecting on the good in their lives for 40 seconds. We asked them to post this video on social media and share it with their friends while also challenging three more people to take part in the challenge.
We had an overwhelming response rate. People loved this challenge. And I think they enjoyed it was because they felt like they were doing something good...they were a part of spreading the word that suicide is a BIG deal and one that we should be talking about!
Check out some of the awesome videos on Facebook people submitted by searching for our hashtag #40secondgratitudechallenge or by scrolling through our Facebook page @gratefulandcompany
I challenge YOU to go do the #40SecondGratitudeChallenge!