It started out as a normal day at Genoa Healthcare’s Lapeer, Mich. pharmacy. Soon after opening, however, the pharmacy received a sobering call from a consumer that put everything into focus.
The consumer thanked the team for sending him a birthday card in the mail. He explained that his grandmother passed away just a few days before his birthday in July. When he didn’t receive a birthday card from her, like he did every year, he felt alone and decided to end his life.
For this consumer, receiving a birthday card and finding out someone cared meant everything. In his words, it saved his life.
Seemingly small, everyday gestures of kindness and love – like receiving a check-in call from a friend or reading a birthday card from someone who cares – can have a huge impact when it comes to feelings of self-worth and well-being, according to research from Penn State University.
The study found that people who experienced frequent, brief moments of love and connection in everyday life “also had significantly higher levels of psychological well-being, which includes feelings of purpose and optimism,” compared to those who did not often experience these moments.
Sean and his team realized their efforts to write and send a simple card to each consumer on his/her birthday – a task that often feels mundane or monotonous – had a huge effect on this consumer.
“There is nothing greater than a human life,” said site manager Sean L. “To know that we had an impact on saving someone’s life, that’s what I got into pharmacy for.”
September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide or would like emotional support, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.