Thursday, November 20, 2008

The day after tomorrow

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is sponsoring the 10th annual National Survivors of Suicide Day, which provides an opportunity for those who have lost someone to suicide to come together for support, healing, information and empowerment. Linking simultaneous local survivor conferences around the country and internationally through a broadcast from 1:00-2:30 pm EST, National Survivors of Suicide Day helps survivors express and understand the powerful emotions they experience, and connect with others who have survived the tragedy of losing someone to suicide.

In May of 2007 someone important to me chose to take his own life and in the time since then I have learned a great deal. While suicide is often referred to as a permanent solution to a temporary problem, I have come to understand that he was incapable of seeing the problem as temporary, and that he truly thought he was doing the right thing, not just for himself, but for everyone.

This is what else I've learned:
  • Over 32,000 people in the United States die by suicide every year.
  • Currently, suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States.
  • A person dies by suicide about every 16 minutes in the United States. An attempt is estimated to be made once every minute.
  • Ninety percent of all people who die by suicide have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death. 
  • There are four male suicides for every female suicide, but twice as many females as males attempt suicide.
  • Every day, approximately 80 Americans take their own life, and 1,500 more attempt to do so.
Those are just some of the stats. What they don't tell you is that the loss of a loved one to suicide is very different than any other loss. I can't explain how or why, it just is. If you've experienced it, you know, and if you have not, I pray you never do. What I have also learned is that each person's grief is different, and as individual as their loss. We deal with it in our own way and on our own time - it just takes whatever it takes.

To find out more about this year's program and register to watch the webcast on Saturday, please go here. Created by U.S. Senate resolution and always held on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, National Survivors of Suicide Day is part of a growing movement towards educating the public about suicide and its aftermath. 

1 comment:

Carolyn (Harbor Hon) said...

Thanks for reminding us as this is important every day of our lives. xxoo