February’s article – by Joood Heather
reprinted with permission from the Gabriola Sounder
Over the last year, we on Gabriola have lost three of our members to suicide: three precious human beings with parents, partners, children, siblings, friends, colleagues, and neighbours.
As losses go, suicide is staggeringly painful to the people left behind, who are additionally burdened by stigma, often making it more difficult for them to openly grieve and heal. What makes it even harder to bear, for many of us, is the knowledge that suicide, the deadly last symptom of a treatable illness, is usually preventable.
With this in mind, some people in this community have come together to see what we can do to make suicide more preventable on Gabriola, and to find ways to enable help to more easily reach people who may be contemplating this permanent solution to a temporary problem.
Under the aegis of People For a Healthy Community (PHC) this group will be taking some actions in the next few months to promote understanding of mental illnesses and to lessen the stigma surrounding them.
As a part of this effort, Sarah Holmes, Publisher of the Gabriola Sounder, is partnering with PHC, and will be printing a series of articles on this topic, written by different community members.
Some articles will be educational, and some anecdotal. We hope that you will read them and find them informative and useful.
We trust as well, that they will expand your awareness of the barriers that people face in accepting help, accessing treatment, and finding support. We believe that the more people know and understand these issues, the more likely it is that people in despair can find the path back to health and happiness.
In the meantime, if you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, here are some important numbers to note:
Lets Talk, it gets better