> It’s three o’clock in the morning, and I’ve just launched the crowdfunding campaign, at last. But before talking about it, I would want you to read a story by Loren Eisely, an American anthropologist.
Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.
One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.
As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.
He came closer still and called out
“Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”
The young man paused, looked up, and replied
“Throwing starfish into the ocean.”
“I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?”
asked the somewhat startled wise man.
To this, the young man replied,
“The sun is up and the tide is going out.
If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”
Upon hearing this, the wise man commented,
“But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile?
You can’t possibly make a difference!”
At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said,
“It made a difference for that one.”
Now, this is what I’ve written on the GoFundMe page of Oakenglass’ campaign:
No one should suffer so much in their life as to decide to deprive themselves of it.
*One of my dearest friends did it. He was just twenty-five years old.
It’s not important to know the reasons for this choice, because they are his own and only his own. What’s important to do is recognising the existence of a problem: society is not doing enough to safeguard our well-being. As a consequence, we feel weakened, fearful, or invisible. Or else we feel one of the other 7,6 billion of existing sorrows. And when the suffering becomes unbearable, we can think to take our own life. Maybe we even try. Maybe we even manage.
About forty seconds have passed since you opened this page. As soon as they struck, one person killed themselves. A person like you and me, like us. They could be a complete stranger, an old schoolmate, a celebrity. Or even your best friend, your brother or sister.
They could be anyone.
Healthcare should do more to help those who are fighting against suicidal ideation.
We must turn the tables, here and now.
The 10th of September is the World Suicide Prevention Day. Straddling this date, I’m bicycling the road of a thousand kilometres that runs along the western fjords of Iceland. I’m travelling alone.
My goal is to raise one euro per kilometre, namely the necessary amount to be able to start a pilot project on suicide prevention in the high schools of Bergamo, my hometown. It’s going to be entirely organised by the Psychology UOC (Complex Operative Unit) of the ASST Papa Giovanni XXIII (i.e. the main hospital of my city), unit directed by Dr. Maria Simonetta Spada. Dr. Dario Piazzalunga is going to contribute to the project too, a surgeon whose teenage son took his own life four years ago.
One thousand euro will allow to carry out 20 hours of education, which will be equally distributed over the total number of schools involved (e.g. 4 hours in each of the 5 academies). Any larger sum will permit to expand the project over more hours and/or more schools, perhaps even in neighbouring provinces.
The Psychology UOC is receiving one hundred percent of the donations, among which there is going to be also mine.
But this is just the beginning. I wish one day every human being could count on the presence of a public support service, where to ask for help in times of need. We can build it, together.
A final note:
Do not feel obliged to give. Do it only if you believe in this project and you have some money to spare. Even a simple sharing on social networks can make the difference.
But, above all, a random act of kindness towards those who stay beside you, and not.
For any doubt, question or curiosity, do not hesitate to write me through the contact form that you’ll find at the bottom of this page:
*To understand how my life has changed since that day, start from here:
Frequent Asked Questions
Are you working for the hospital?
No. From October 2016 to October 2017 I conducted my year of traineeship at the Psychology UOC, but now I’m no longer a member of the hospital.
How can I know that you are forwarding 100% of the donations?
Obviously, I’ll provide you evidences, such as the bank transfer receipt or a scan of the cashier’s cheque in favour of the Psychology UOC.
When will Oakenglass’ suicide prevention project start?
I hope at the beginning of 2019, approximately around March.
Is GoFundMe platform free?
Yes, but GoFundMe applies a standard donation processing fee of 2,9% plus 0,25€. For example: if you donate 5€, the Psychology UOC will actually receive 5€ – 0,15€ (2,9%) – 0,25€ = 4,6€; if you donate 10€, the unit will receive 10€ – 0,29€ (2,9%) – 0,25€ = 9,46€. You can find more information about this platform on its FAQ page: https://www.gofundme.com/questions/
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