Suicide expert speaks emotionally on NMU campus | News, Sports, Jobs

Call it a symptom of a troubled world, call it the result of stress, pressure, depression and anxiety, call it something close to an epidemic, but it seems like almost everyone knows something. someone or knows someone who committed suicide.

Nearly 46,000 people died by suicide in 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In other words, it’s one person every 11 minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

That’s why the Mining Journal last week supported a national speaker appearing locally on this troublesome topic.

At an event sponsored by the Women’s Center of Marquette, Marquette Housing Commission, Great Lakes Recovery Centers, NMU Center for Rural Health, NorthCare Network and Sail Disability, David Bartley spoke at the Northern Center on the campus of Northern Michigan University for two hours, sharing her personal journey with mental illness, depression and suicidal thoughts, a Journal article in the issue said.

Things came to a head, he fondly recalls standing on a bridge in California, preparing to jump. His life was saved by a policeman who literally dissuaded him.

“(The officer) created a connection. Connection creates hope, hope is a weapon and hope saves lives,” Bartley said, adding that he was later admitted to a psychiatric care facility.

“In a place I never expected, my life has changed in the most extraordinary way”, said Bartley. “When people found out I was in a psychiatric ward, to say they were confused would be a stark understatement. People didn’t see me as suicidal. People didn’t see me as crazy, deranged, depressed. If you look what mental illness looks like, that wouldn’t be me. I didn’t look like that. People had no idea.

Isn’t that often the case? Someone will commit suicide and their friends will all say they had no idea that person was in trouble.

Bartley says there are three key aspects to creating this connection.

“Recognition, understanding and expression.”

He says something as simple as remembering someone’s name can create a bond with someone in trouble.

“You’re going to remember someone’s name one day when, unbeknownst to you, that person is hurting, that person is heading down a dark path.” said Bartley. “This moment can make all the difference in the world.”

For more information on David Bartley, his background, videos of his speeches, and information on upcoming speaking engagements, visit his website at

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