World Suicide Prevention Day

On Saturday evening I attended one of the many Lifeline Out of the Shadows walks for World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD).

Out of the Shadows scarves and bandannas

 

Even my dog is sporting a bandanna in support of WSPD.

A group of about 36 ended up turning up and together we walked through town wearing the Out of the Shadows apparel and holding battery operated candles. We had small cards explaining about the walk and WSPD to hand out to passers-by to raise awareness.

One of the things we had was a reflection tree where we invited people to write small reflections or messages on a paper leaf and hang it up.

Reflection Tree

It was sad reading what some people had wrote. A few had lost people to suicide. Others wrote messages about needing to speak out, increase awareness of suicide and that there is help available. It made me feel rather sorrowful as it’s just so difficult to remember this sometimes. That it’s easy to read this, but so much harder to actually speak it aloud and tell someone that you’re feeling suicidal, hopeless and alone.

And even people who ask for help don’t necessarily get the help that they need and end up taking their life which is all the more devastating. I watched the 4corners story on youth suicide There’s No 3D in Heaven last night and could really relate to the frustration that some of these family and friends share about the lack of mental health services. It shouldn’t happen that those who require support don’t receive it.

4 thoughts on “World Suicide Prevention Day

  1. Are you familiar with the AFSP? It’s an organization in the US that runs several walks a year. Their biggest one is an overnight 18 mile walk called Out of the Darkness Overnight that is hosted by a different city each year. It is really meaningful and a unique experience. I participated one year and found it to be really touching as well as beautiful. Each one raises millions of dollars through donations for suicide prevention and also brings a tremendous public awareness – the Overnight happens in big cities, like New York City, Boston, San Francisco, Washington DC, etc. They also have smaller community (daytime) walks. Check it out. http://theovernight.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donordrive.event&eventID=501

  2. Sounds a great awareness raising event. not sure ever heard of anything similar in the UK. In general people don’t like talking about dying and death, even less so when it’s suicide, but that just feeds the stigma….. Need to somehow break it, events like this walk are a big step.

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