Suicide is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, having increased 60 percent over the past 45 years. In the United States, suicide is the third-leading cause of death for people between 15 and 24 years of age, and the suicide rate among seniors is also disproportionately high. More than 8 million Americans have considered suicide this past year, and there are around 100 suicide deaths every day.
There are many reasons why a person decides to take his or her own life, and the problems do not end when that life ends. Survivors are to deal with pain, anger, guilt, depression, confusion, and other emotions that can lead to problems if they are not properly managed. For those unfortunate families, friends, and loved ones who lost someone due to suicide, November 23 is International Survivors of Suicide Day, a day for them to find some peace.
In 1999, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution sponsored by Senator Harry Reid to designate the Saturday before the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday as National Survivors of Suicide Day. Senator Reid lost his father to suicide, so he knew how important it was for friends and family to join together to support one another and facilitate the healing process.
Because of the prevalence of suicide worldwide, events are now organized on every continent, making the day an international day of recognition. The day fosters a sense of community, promotes healing, and gives people a way to connect with others who have also lost someone to suicide.
For this year, there will be events in 300 cities on six continents. Each individual event is locally organized and unique to that community, but they all provide a place for survivors to speak out, find others who understand, and begin to heal.
Each event will play the DVD of this year’s speaker and discussion panel, featuring interviews with six survivors of suicide. If you cannot attend in person, you can still benefit from the day through watching the video online.
Sovereign Health supports International Survivors of Suicide Day because it acknowledges the loss and grief of those mourning the loss of a loved one and provides them an opportunity to share their experience and feelings with those who truly understand. Losing a loved one is always difficult, but when someone takes his or her own life, the loss can be even harder for the survivor.
International Survivors of Suicide Day helps the survivors learn to deal with the feelings of guilt and loss that come when someone has taken his or her own life. It provides a healing opportunity as well as education and a chance to talk for those dealing with the repercussions of suicide.
This day also helps prevent suicide through providing a forum for discussion. Sovereign Health knows suicide is a devastating problem, but it can be prevented. Those struggling with suicidal thoughts or the loss of a loved one due to suicide need support.
For more information, to find a local event, or sponsor an event click here.
Blog Post By: Jared Friedman