Signal in selfies has deeper meaning for suicide prevention

Posted at 12:45 PM, Aug 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-26 14:46:07-04

DENVER, Colo. -- They're cropping up all over the place -- Selfies depicting a man making an OK symbol with his hands. Not everybody knows those selfies have deep meaning. 

The photos boil down to a movement sweeping the World Wide Web -- not just in America -- of men telling other men it's okay to talk about depression and feelings overall. 

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention says 42,000 Americans die each year to suicide, costing the U.S. economy $44 billion. Perhaps more startling than those statistics is one that says men commit suicide 3.5 times more frequently than women. 

Luke Ambler, a U.K. ruby player, started the movement overseas, not knowing the movement would spread across the globe. Thousands have shared their photos with the hashtag #ItsOkaytoTalk. 

Telling men it's okay to talk has sparked a conversation in itself about suicide prevention and everybody is encouraged to take part. 

So the next time a photo crosses your Facebook or Twitter feed with an OK symbol.

For anybody battling depression, consider reaching out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-8255. The line is manned for anybody who needs to talk around the clock. 


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