It’s World Suicide Prevention Day. Today is a day, all around the world, to celebrate that suicide can be prevented.
Many have asked, “what can I do to prevent suicide?” I will start the answer from a mentor of mine that I deeply respect and I have learned so much from.
“Monday, September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day. Each year we lose more than 3500 Canadians to suicide. Worldwide someone dies by suicide every 3 seconds. We can all help to prevent suicide. We can all make a difference!
My challenge to you today is to reach out to someone who may be struggling: a family member, a friend, an acquaintance, a person you cross paths with on the street, and show that you care. Caring can be done in many ways: a few kind words, a random act of kindness, encouragement, a smile, a gift, a hug, an invitation, a handshake… you never know what a difference even a small gesture of love may make.
If today suicide is on your mind – reach out and let someone know – give someone the chance to help you! I am here for you and there are many others who are too! For those of you who have lost someone to suicide, I will be thinking of you and lighting a candle to remember.”
Angela Davis, Coordinator, Communities Addressing Suicide Together, Dartmouth Nova Scotia
My challenge to you is to find ways and learn how you can make your family and your community suicide safer. Like CPR and First Aid, you can take gatekeeper training such as SafeTALK or ASIST that can take as little as 3 hours and is probably available in your community. If you workplace teaches CPR and First Aid, ask them to include SafeTALK. Ask your kids teachers and Principal if they have ever taken SafeTALK or ASIST. If not, send me an email and I will let you know how this can be done. Terry Fox and Lance Armstrong have not only inspired cancer survivors to fight with courage, they have also engaged and empowered millions of people to to join the fight by donating as little as $1. These two heros have made cancer something that needs to be talked about and in doing so have changed the world. Suicide is no different, we must talk about is and raise funds to make change. As Alex Baumann said to me in the early days of starting the Collateral Damage Project, “when Terry Fox dipped his leg in the Atlantic Ocean, nobody was there to watch.” Each and everyone of you reading this has the unique opportunity to begin a proactive dialogue on suicide. In doing so, remember, it does matter and people will listen. Create an event in your community for suicide prevention at anytime of the year. After all, shouldn’t suicide prevention day be everyday. Organize and walk, a run, concert, bake sale, etc. Each and everyone of you can be the heros of suicide prevention. On this World Suicide Prevention Day, I want you to ask yourself, “what can I do to make my family and my community suicide safer?” Not Talking About It Isn’t Working.