Atlanta Teen Voices / all

“Every day you’re awake, every day you breathe, you belong here,” writes Ila-Rose Robinson to a friend experiencing suicidal thoughts. “What is broken can be mended. What is hurt can be healed and no matter how hard it gets, the sun will rise again.”

Artwork by Maya Martin/VOX ATL Alumni

A Letter to a Suicidal Friend: ‘Don’t Ever Forget, You Belong Here’

by share

Dear Friend,

In August 2019 when we met, I was intrigued. Not only were you smart, but outgoing. I had to say hello. Math was my challenge, and you were the wiz, and so, our friendship was born. Thank you for trusting me with your darkest secrets rather than sharing them in some strange chat room.

Life is beautiful, and the fact you were contemplating ending your life after your dad died made me feel empty inside. Yes, you missed his cuddles, and the annoying rants, the never-ending laughs and jokes, but you belong here. You explained how you felt irrelevant, unneeded, and weird. It was overwhelming as we cried on each other’s shoulders. I sometimes had sleepless nights, called and texted you everyday, praying you’d pick up. Because I cared for you, I had to tell someone. My poor little heart had to stay strong so yours could stay beating. 

I reached out to a teacher I trusted, because this revelation was bigger than me. I made it my duty to continue reaching out over the break. You once said “you felt like a waste of space,” yet you fill this room with your presence. The beautiful you is needed as your dad watches over you. I remembered the old and the fresh cuts on your arm, and as I rushed to my locker for the first aid kit, I blamed myself for not telling the teacher the entire story.  

I’m so glad when you sing to occupy your time. Then, I worried once “Grey’s Anatomy” ended, and you were home alone with no one but crazy thoughts spinning around in your head. We memorized the suicide hotline together, so whenever you feel like jumping, cutting, or drinking, you can call. They won’t judge you, they only want to save you.

Every day you’re awake, every day you breathe, you belong here. What is broken can be mended. What is hurt can be healed and no matter how hard it gets, the sun will rise again.

 I love you, my friend, and don’t you ever forget, you belong here!


If you or someone you know has suicidal thoughts — or just needs a connection to mental health care — here are a few helpful resources:

READ  FACILITATION 101, COMIC STYLE!: BIG BUCKET SKILL #3 - CREATING AND MANAGING A CONNECTED ATMOSPHERE

Georgia Crisis and Access Line (GCAL) –  1-800-715-4225 – is available 24/7.

The MY GCAL app also lets teens/youth call, text, or chat with GCAL 24/7/365. Download it anywhere you get your apps.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-TALK (8255) also offers 24/7 connection with a trained counselor at a local crisis center, or Text “START” to 741-741

The Trevor Project offers a suicide prevention hotline for LGTBQ youth ages 13-24, Text “Trevor” to 202-304-1200 Thurs.-Fri. (4-8 p.m.) or call (866) 488-7386 – 24/7.

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