More people die by suicide than in traffic accidents yet it remains a subject which is hidden, forbidden, avoided and misunderstood. 4000 people in Canada this year. That is why organizations around the world today join forces to bring awareness and encourage conversation. Today, September 10th, is World Suicide Prevention Day.
I have very personal reasons for taking this subject to heart. Their names are Bryan and Raye Ellen. Bryan was my 16 year old son. Raye Ellen was my 47 year old, life long friend. Both died by suicide. Neither should have died or ever had to suffer the way they did. None of us who are left behind should have to endure such pain.
I encourage you to find out all you can. Learn from people who know, not from gossip and speculation. Don’t be in the dark about suicide any more. Reach through the darkness if you need help to prevent you from suicide.
Talk to people who you think may be thinking about suicide. Ask if they are considering suicide. Don’t ask if they are thinking about “hurting themselves” because when you are suicidal, death seems like a place where hurt stops.
If you don’t know what to do to help someone, ASK someone who does. Call a Distress Centre or even the police. I would rather have some angry with me for life for calling in help than not have them alive to be angry.
Take the time to learn more. Some places you can look for help:
- Canadian Mental Health Association
- Living Works – Training
- Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention
- International Association for Suicide Prevention
- Your Life Counts – Some great strategies for handling bullying and preventing suicide in teens.
- Be Safe – an app designed for teens by teens. Parents please consider this very important app. Encourage parents and teens to download it then talk about it.
- Language of Suicide on River of Hope Enterprises website – Please don’t ever say “Committed Suicide” again.