World Suicide Prevention Week

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This week is World Suicide Prevention Week, and September 10th was World Suicide Prevention Day. For good or bad, the recent death of Robin Williams has brought attention to depression and suicide … we can only hope that this attention turns to actual resouces and help – and results!

There are numerous sites that had great articles and info for World Suicide Prevention Day, you can see them here, here, here and the official site.

Over at MTV there was a great article that talked about ‘5 things to know’ … here is the list:

1. Suicide doesn’t have to happen. Often, people who die by suicide were dealing with depression, drug addiction a traumatic event in their lives or a combination of several of these problems. But these things don’t have to lead to suicide. There are so many stories of people who struggled with these issues or situations and felt like they didn’t want to live anymore, but reached out for help and were able to feel better and continue to live a fulfilling life.

2. There are usually warning signs, but they can be hard to spot. Sometimes if feels like a suicide came out of the blue and there was nothing anyone could do. Generally there are warning signs and it’s important to learn them and look out for them so you can help yourself or a friend.

3. No “one thing” causes suicide. Sometimes people get very depressed and have thoughts of suicide after a difficult event, like a break-up or being mistreated or bullied. But it isn’t the break-up, or any traumatic event, that causes the suicide. It’s generally a combination of many factors that can include depression, an anxiety disorder or emotional health conditions. Plenty of people who deal with tough times get sad or even hopeless, but are able to work through it with the help of friends, family or a professional. The important thing is that it is OK to reach out for help no matter what you are going through.

4. There are better ways to talk about suicide. It’s better not to use phrases like “he killed himself” or “she committed suicide” Suicide is generally the result of an illness and it’s more respectful to say that someone “died by suicide” than to make it sound like a crime by using words like “killed” and “committed.” At the same time, it’s important to remember that suicide is preventable and the conditions that contribute to suicide, like depression, are treatable. There’s always hope.

5. Help can help. Some people who feel suicidal are so hopeless that they can’t imagine that friends, family or a mental health professional, can really help them. But counseling and treatment have helped so many people who have felt suicidal or been hopeless. Suicide never has to be the end of the story.

Earlier this year Ann over at Ann’s Running Commentary she talked about ‘Running for a Reason’, and before that she and her daughter raised money for the 24 Hour Walk Out Of the Darkness.

Suicide is preventable, and depression is treatable … and yet often nothing happens because for many it remains a taboo subject. That is tragic, and results in way too many preventable deaths and people miserably suffering in silence. Break that cycle – depression is a disease, and should be treated. Suicide is preventable, and very often comes from untreated or unresolved depression. If you or someone you know is depressed or contemplating suicide, please get the help you need. There is no shame – only hope.

Did you see anything worth sharing for World Suicide Prevention Day? Let us know!

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8 thoughts on “World Suicide Prevention Week

  1. Fantastic post. I think it is so important for people to understand that suicide is more than just someone taking their life. A friend of mine on Facebook recently posted that “Suicide is not a selfish act, it is a disease.” Years ago I was the last person with her brother. I dropped him off at home and the next day he was missing and so was the family rifle. His body was found a week later half way across the state. It was very traumatic for me and unbelievably hard for his family. Understanding the complexity of suicide was important for all of us during the healing process.

    • Oh wow, that is awful … it is really true that it is a disease that needs to be made more publicly understood and worked on, not shamed. I have an old friend who called Robin Williams a coward on his Facebook … and I nearly said something, but he is at the end of a losing battle with cancer, and everything has been rough for him lately – so for once I left it alone. But in general it isn’t something I would let slide.

  2. A great way to bring more awareness to suicide. We recently gave a grant to an organization that runs a suicide help line in our area, its an incredible organization that is touching thousands of lives. I was fortunate enough to attend the gala and learn more about the organization, their work, and hear from the people who answer the phones when people call, it was touching. They helped bring to light more awareness on this topic. I have not known anyone who has committed suicide, so it was a real eye opener for me. I hope that in the future, this is does not stay a taboo subject, there is no need to let anyone with a disease suffer alone.

  3. Thank you for sharing this. Two years ago, I was very involved with a suicide prevention walk on a college campus. It was a lot of fun and great way to bring a lot of awareness to the topic that is often not talked about.

    • That is so great of you! When I was in college therapy, depression and suicide were very much taboo things not talked about. I wrote once on another blog how I didn’t find out an uncle killed himself right before I was born (my dad’s closest brother) until I was in my 40s …

  4. This is perfect timing. I wish we had this awareness all year round. Just recently my best friend in Canada had killed himself. I didn’t expect it, I didn’t even find out until a good month after. It was a weird way of finding out too. One day I went on Facebook, looked at one of my friends profile picture, and I see the picture of my dead friend and him with the caption “Rest in peace”. It was so shocking! It’s one thing to find out your friend had recently committed suicide, but it’s another to not find out about it until a month after.

    Thank you for this though. We all need to be aware and cautious. I never expected it to happen, he was such a funny guy.

    • Very true – I try to highlight it whenever I can, because it is really important stuff. And it is sad when you find out this stuff through Facebook – sorry to hear that 😦

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