Saturday, November 06, 2010

Don't hide about it.

Last night a friend and I attended a Fundraising event/dance for "Suicide Awareness and Prevention".It was been the third annual event hosted by a group of families who have lost a loved one to suicide. The goal for this year was to raise 15000 dollars for awareness programs and prevention programs in school. We were attending in support of my friend's coworker, whose son committed suicide a few years ago, and she was one of the event organisers. The event was well attended and it was a great night. The band that supplied the entertainment was a group of three local young men and they are absolutely fantastic and played an array of different music. Something for everybody and everybody seemed to enjoy themselves. There were door prizes, raffle prizes and a silent auction. There were shared memories of the ones lost and a moment of silence to remember the loved ones. I remember at least three class mates in my high school years either committing suicide or having a sibling commit it. 
Sadly findings show that the rate of suicide  in Brantford is higher than the provincial average rate. The bracket most affected by suicide is aged 15-19 years-old.
Suicide has still such ugly stigmas attached to it that it is one of the last taboo subjects to really be talked about and that keeps people from getting the help they so desperately need.
Our intention was not to stay too long, because I had to be at work this morning, but we had such a great time that we stayed almost til the end.

"Suicide and Stigma
Suicide is one of the few remaining taboos in today’s society. It is such an inconceivable act to most people that they often cannot identify with it or empathise with those affected. Because of these attitudes, awkwardness, denial, secrecy and avoidance remain common.
This stigma can be a major obstacle to people getting help. It may also prevent us from speaking openly and freely about the problem and discussing what we can do, and can lead to misunderstandings and intolerance which are barriers to change. There is a great need to change public attitudes, and increase awareness and understanding about suicide as a major public health problem that is largely preventable.
Serious talk about suicide does not create or increase risk, it reduces it. The best way to identify the possibility of suicide is to ask directly. Open talk and genuine concern about someone's thoughts of suicide may be a source of relief for them and are often key to preventing the immediate danger of suicide. Similarly, stigma can make it more difficult for people who have lost a loved one from suicide. It may prevent them from telling others the cause of death, and often, people who know of someone who has been bereaved by suicide don't quite know how to react. Bereavement from suicide should be treated in the same way as any other loss.
For more information about suicide and stigma download our factsheet".


Sharon said...

Good Post, Tina!
Interesting subject, although I don't recall anyone I know having committed suicide, I know this would be hard for a family to handle, just as any sudden death.

Tracey said...

Night before last I spent the night once again trying to convince my husband not to hang him self. Bipolar & any mental illness is tragic in it's self. Today he has woken up totally hyperactive, which usually is worse than the downers. And my family wonder why I 'lose' myself in the computer?!
Wonderful post...xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Canyon Girl said...

What a great post, Tina. Thank you -- we have lived through the suicide of a loved one here and it is a terrible thing. Thanks for caring, Inger

Joan said...

A really difficult situation to deal with. My first encounter was through my ex husbands family... the family is never the same again after losing a loved one this way. The self questioning, the guilt, the abandonment, the stigma... My heart really goes out to anyone dealing with this issue. So sorry Tracey for what you and your family are dealing with.