Most of us know one or more individuals who have attempted suicide or who have killed themselves in a moment of confusion or despair. According to the World Health Organization, almost 3000 people commit suicide each day – over 1 million annually. For every individual who commits suicide, at least 20 more make the attempt.
To raise public awareness of the problem and reduce risk, World Suicide Prevention Month was established. In September of each year, people of all ages are asked to reflect on loved ones they have lost or almost lost to suicide and to help spread information about suicide risk and prevention.
At Perry Wellness Center, the lives of peers and staff have been touched by loved ones who lost their lives by suicide, and many of us have struggled with our own battles with depression. While we can and should honor and remember those who have passed, our tasks as a recovery center include assistance to individuals who are at risk of suicide and support for individuals who have a history of suicidal thoughts or attempts.
We were pleased to learn that that SAMHSA has just released a new publication designed to help in the battle. “A Journey Toward Health and Hope: Your Handbook for Recovery after a Suicide Attempt” can be downloaded for free from the SAMHSA website.
Research shows that even those who have helpful treatment after a suicide attempt may struggle with their returns to work, school, or home. Embarrassment or shame can lead to a sense of isolation. Through a combination of personal stories and practical tools, the booklet offers support and hope to individuals on the road to recovery.
Yesterday, many individuals in the Perry Wellness family lit candles in memory of lost loved ones. During Suicide Prevention Month, we encourage you to also light a candle, and then to share the message of hope with others.