September 10, 2014 is World Suicide Prevention Day co-sponsored by the World Health Organization and the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP)
100 Voices for Suicide Prevention
Every 40 seconds the world loses someone to suicide. This grim statistic is being challenged every day by mental health advocates and practitioners. USC School of Social Work believes that suicide awareness and prevention work is of paramount importance. It is for this reason that we have started a collaboration with experts in the field to create the “100 Voices for Suicide Prevention” campaign.
Visit the Official World Suicide Prevention Day Facebook Event Page and join people from all over the world who are supporting World Suicide Prevention Day, survivors of suicide and the many volunteers and practitioners worldwide who work to alleviate suffering through evidence-based research and practices.
What drives a person to end his or her life?
What pushes them over the edge?
How can we prevent such tragedies?
I still remember this incident from long ago, when I was in college. There was a young couple; so much in love, they got married and started their happy family life. They had two little boys; the young mother fell sick, don’t know what happened but she was undergoing treatment for it. I used to see her going for her doctor’s appointments, we lived close by.
One fine day I got back from college and heard the news that she had committed suicide by hanging from the ceiling fan. I was shocked and so were all the others living in our complex. Maybe she couldn’t bear the pain, or her illness was life threatening? What I do know is her little kids will always miss their mommy, her parents will cry every night and her husband will always wonder why she did it. Wish she could have been saved.
Maybe if she had someone to share her thoughts with, she would have lived. A patient hearing is all we need at times and a willing, non-judgmental friend. We can’t always tell if a person is disturbed or unhappy but there are signs, subtle ones. Even if there aren’t any visible indications of such intents, we can all be good listeners and considerate friends by default. If we treat everyone we meet with a warm, open and welcoming smile, offer our support, without being asked to and just be there for those who come seeking our help, intentionally or not, we can prevent tragic incidents from happening. We can make a difference, we can save lives.
By Sulekha Rawat