The World Health Organization (WHO) has deemed September 10th to be annual World Suicide Prevention Day. The WHO sponsors this event with the International Association for Suicide Prevention.
As those who have followed my blogs for some time and read Pathways to Illumination already know, I tried to take my life. It was several years ago, and I have grown stronger, particularly in the past few years. Do I want pity? Heck no. I share this personal note as it explains my passion for helping people through issues such as domestic abuse, anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Truly I do want women who are abused to know they can get help and don’t deserve this treatment (the same, of course, holds true for any gender but I focus on women with my advocacy work).
The 2017 theme for World Suicide Prevention Day is “Take a Minute, Change a Life.” Powerful, right?! As with many mental health issues, suicidal tenancies have a stigma surrounding them. This only strengthens a society that keeps to themselves and is less likely to reach out for help. The 2017 theme, therefore, is a great one as it encourages discussions – just listening for a minute can be all that someone who is hurting wants and can mean the prevention of a suicidal act.
Here in Canada, the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention estimates that about 11 people a day end their life by suicide. These may not be people I know but they are part of the country I am so proud to live in, and every life has value! This is a local and worldwide issue that deserves our attention. Whether it be the person who is having suicidal thoughts or the family grieving from the loss of a loved one who took their own life, there are many people who can use our help.
Did you know that each day has 1,440 minutes? That’s a whole lot of chances to help someone! As I’ve said before, the small things are really big ones! And also the power of a group can really account for positive change around the globe.
Here’s what you can do today:
- Start to think about what you can do in a minute to positively affect a life.
- Send out a message about World Suicide Prevention Day on social media.
- Light a candle at a window at 8 pm on September 10th as a symbol of compassion and care. The candle doubles as a symbol of those who grieve a loss due to suicide.
- Order a World Suicide Prevention Day ribbon to show your support openly.
- Reach out to someone who is in despair. If you’ve been worried about someone, please take a minute to connect with this individual. Doing so may change their path for the better.
- Participate in one of the many events going on worldwide to encourage suicide awareness and prevention.
Sending love ♥