Ripples: World Suicide Prevention Day

I just realized that this post for International Suicide Prevent Day (September 10) was never published. A week later, here is Ripples.


When you drop a stone into a still pond, ripples spread out from the center. The first ripples are small and closer together. The ripples spread wider and wider and further and further apart.

You are the stone; these bands of ripples represent the connectedness of your life. You intuitively know the nature of each circle, each ripple. Family. Friends. Your children’s friends. Neighbors. Co-workers. Other parents and teachers at your children’s school. Other students in the class. Sports mom’s and their children. Yoga or gym pals. Facebook friends. People in service jobs you see regularly. The mailman. You build your connectedness through these flowing ripples.

You are the stone; it is quite likely that someone within those ripples are familiar with committed or attempted suicide. (For every one suicide death, there are at there are 20+ people attempting suicide). A co-worker’s daughter. The mailman’s uncle. A classmate or friend of your children, especially as the rate of suicide among teens and young adults is higher than the general rate. A yoga pal’s nephew. One of the people who made you morning coffee at your favourite café. A neighbor’s son back from active duty.

September 10, 2014 is World Suicide Prevention Day. Take a minute to think about how attempted and committed suicide probably has touched your life through these ripples. Or you may be more closely associated. Some one in your family, perhaps your self.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Association for Suicide Prevention estimates globally there is a suicide every 40 seconds. Today, WHO releases it’s word suicide report: Preventing Suicide – A Global Imperative.

And, if you are contemplating suicide, please get in touch with a suicide crisis phone line. The skilled staff understands your pain, and will listen to why you have come to this point. They will talk to you because you are special, unique, and not alone.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline '1-800-273-TALK (8255)'

The national suicide prevention life line is available 365, 24/7. You can call, connect through their website for chat. There are Spanish-speaking crisis counselors on staff.

There is additional help available for young adults and soldiers who represent the highest suicide rates.

With in my ripples, I’ve been touched by suicide. I will think of paul* and marc* today. Think of the times when the physical, emotional, mental pains felt too much to bear and I considered suicide. Not to worry, right now I am not suicidal.

And I will think of the death, every 40 seconds globally, from suicide. Think of them, their families and their friends.

I hope you will stop and think about suicide prevention today. And, if suicide has touched your life, then you know how much pain, grief and guilt is involved. The unbearable pain of the person who committed suicide, grief of those who knew the person, and the guilt that they didn’t see it coming, or should have done more or . . . . .

September 10, 2014 is World Suicide Prevention Day. But suicide prevention is a full time, year round goal. Perhaps there is something you can do to help.