Earlier this week Calgary Police mentioned they had attended 24 suicide calls in 24 hours. And everywhere I turn I see the fallout. Six years ago today a really great guy made that choice and I’ll never know why… and it doesn’t help me give any answers to the families I meet who are shocked beyond words when someone they love takes their own life. And the ripple effects through the 3-10+ first responders that attend every single successful suicide … it’s almost mind-boggling.
I know we could talk about warning signs, but there isn’t a teenager alive that hasn’t given those at some point… and those battling with depression or life changes … everyone at some point goes through The Shit.
Don’t wait until you read the warning signs of suicide articles or feel more equipped or someone says they want to die. Just listen to that still, small voice in your head and when it says “smile at that person” or “call that person” or “send a quick text” … just do it.
When you see flowers at the grocery store, pick some up and bring them to someone.
Send a message when a Facebook status seems down.
Smile at someone who looks frustrated.
Ask the crying mom in the parking lot if she’s ok.
Knock on your neighbour’s door and give her your second loaf of banana bread.
Call that friend you had a fight with.
Ask someone if they are ok, even if they are That Person Who Is Always Ok.
Listen to them.
Think about the last person you texted with or the last person whose Facebook status you commented on … what would you do if you knew they were considering suicide? The stats on successful and unsuccessful suicides are clear, but it’s estimated up to 1 in 3 people consider it at some point in their lives. ONE IN THREE. The World Health Organization says that every 30 seconds someone dies by suicide and for each one of those … 20 more attempt. Every 30 seconds.
Look around your PTA meeting … your firehall … your hospital hallway … your home. Your family. Your street. Your school.
I’ll be honest – you may not save or stop them.
But you might.
And you’ll know you tried.