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NAMI Utah: Random Act of Kindness Could Prevent a Suicide

PHOTO: A simple smile could mean the world to someone down on their luck during "Random Acts of Kindness Week." Photo courtesy of the U-S Department of Health and Human Services.
PHOTO: A simple smile could mean the world to someone down on their luck during "Random Acts of Kindness Week." Photo courtesy of the U-S Department of Health and Human Services.
February 13, 2014

OGDEN, Utah – It's Random Acts of Kindness Week, and simply smiling at someone could prevent a suicide, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Utah.

Rebecca Glathar, NAMI’s executive director in Utah, says people battling mental illness are often isolated and feel alone, and that kindness from another person can be very powerful.

"There have been studies that have shown something as simple a smile has changed the mind of an individual who's considering taking their own life by suicide," she says.

Random Acts of Kindness Week asks that we all step out of our normal routine and comfort zone and do something nice for someone else each day this week.

Suggested kind acts include buying a stranger coffee, volunteering, saying something nice to someone and of course smiling.

Glathar says being kind is good for those being helped, but it also benefits the person being kind.

She says volunteers at NAMI are proof that giving can be as valuable as receiving.

"Those individuals who are teaching and sharing their stories and helping support others who are struggling,” she relates, “all say, ‘I do this not only to help the other person but because it helps me to feel better about myself.’"

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - UT