It's World Suicide Prevention day 2016 this Saturday....and realising that we even have a day to spread awareness of that incredibly sad act, makes me feel a little bleak. Truth is the statistics don't lie and with the high numbers that take their own life per year growing and reaching astronomical numbers, we should be talking about this more, as it is one of the most preventable causes of death. Yet it feels like it is still a word that gets a bare whisper when spoken about. This needs to stop.
There are many reasons why someone takes their own life and yes, there are many organisations and charities that are raising funds and spreading awareness this weekend. We hope that this will make a difference and money certainly talks and shall help fund more help for people to turn to, when they find themselves in that dark place. But what if the prevention could really and simply start with YOU?
I was musing this the other day and concluded that maybe the number of suicides is congruent with the fact that we seem to be so concerned with the Kim Kardashian's of the world, yet perhaps don't even know the names of our neighbours that live next door. We are out of touch with people. Not literally, as everyone has a phone stuck to their hand, but figuratively speaking, we are all guilty.
Care. Concern. Communication. Connection. These magical "C" words are all stressed in the literature which I've been reading all over the internet, websites, blogs and leaflets and are all acts that we can do to reach out to people. Contrary to what most believe, a potential suicide risk is not always the quietest person in the room. It is often said by people that knew the person, that they were bubbly, happy, "I saw them just the other day and they were completely fine" .... So should we be on alert looking for the life and sole of the party instead? -Not quite.
The point is it could be anyone. So in a world where it's easy to live in a bubble, all I can say is; be in the moment and try your best with people. Be the best person you can be in any given situation. The C words don't cost us a thing and who knows, you may even make a new friend, by just the simple act of talking to someone and showing you have noticed them. But let's be clear; I'm not advocating you talking to a complete stranger, but maybe, just maybe we could all make the effort to be more mindful of people when we come across them. In the everyday landscape of your life, you could be connecting with someone that may be on that ledge...