September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day. Suicide touches so many lives when you consider both its victims and survivors. It can affect anyone.
Those of us who have never felt the pain and hopelessness of being suicidal can’t truly understand what those who have are going through, but we can always act with love, compassion and support. It should never be about blame or shame or expecting that someone who is suicidal will just get over it.
Prevention rests on our ability to talk openly and sensitively about suicide in our everyday lives and workplaces. Look for the words you can use to help in conversations with friends and family when you know someone is struggling. The resources below can help, and as one of them states, it’s important to never promise to keep someone’s thoughts of suicide a secret. The more secretive suicide is, the more dangerous it is.
I am sending love today to those I know who are experiencing the profound loss of suicide. For these friends, I often don’t have words for what they are going through. I try to let them know I am beside them, whether it’s physically or over the miles, as they journey through their grief – and that I will always welcome their stories of their loved ones and their experiences for as often as they want to share them.
Please take some time today learn more about suicide to honour those who have been affected and to support prevention. I’ve included some links below to help you get started.
https://www.helpguide.org/articles/suicide-prevention/suicide-prevention.htm – looks at common misconceptions, warning signs and prevention.
What is a safety plan? – describes what a safety plan is and how to create one together with an individual who may be at risk.
https://yourlifecounts.org/organization/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/coping-with-suicidal-thoughts.pdf – strategies to help individuals who are having suicidal thoughts.
https://suicideprevention.ca – promotes suicide awareness and includes comprehensive information about prevention, response and bereavement.
https://www.workplacestrategiesformentalhealth.com/workplace-wellness-program-calendar/workplace-wellness-september – links to information to help start the conversation with those in your lives or workplaces who may be struggling.
https://www.iasp.info/wspd2019/ – official World Suicide Prevention Day 2019 website.
Get a #ConvoPlate – The goal of the #ConvoPlate, created in memory of Paul Hansell who died by suicide, is to help make mental health part of our every day conversations.