Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sept 10- World Suicide Prevention Day Walk

So I wanted to update everyone on the World Suicide Prevention Day walk in my community. Yours truly was asked again this year to paint the window to advertise the event. Above is the picture of this years window and the artist at hand  (Sorry for the shadows and glare in the window!)

Canadian Mental Health Association (Colchester- East Hants Branch) had a walk to raise awareness, as well as offer a chance for people to remember their loved one who died by suicide. I could not participate due to being needed else where, however, I was told that it was well received by the people who attended. Although there was a smaller number then last year, the impact and meaning on the people who came out was truly amazing.  We were plagued with flooding in many areas of town that day, so I applaud the people who attended the event despite the extreme weather conditions we experienced.

It shows great courage to the people who attended the walk and who walked in memory of a loved one. I am told that most of them had a picture of their loved that they carried around during the walk. CMHA also prepared  yellow ribbons for the event as well as pamphlets talking about suicide prevention. The participants wore the ribbons and also were able to give them out to people whom they met on the street in hopes to raise awareness. The ribbons and the information was a way to bridge the gap and speak to people in the community about the impact of suicide and what we can do as a community to help prevent future tragedies from occurring. Overall, the messages appeared to be received well and people were willing to listen. Many shared their personal stories and how suicide impacted them as a person. Again- this shows the courage that these people demonstrated, to use something so tragic in their lives in hopes to educate and help someone else. It takes a lot of power to do something like this- very self less- I applaud these people.

Through this event, not only were the public educated but there were people who found the walk to be healing in nature. To use something so tragic in their lives and turn it around to help others speaks volumes and it must of indeed been a powerful moment that was felt by all. Also, there was support offered to the people who were walking in memory- peer support. Unless someone has experienced a loss of a loved one by suicide then one does not really understand the depths of despair and unanswered questions. With having a few people knowing what it is like, creates an unspoken mutual understanding- support and empathy.

CMHA offers a support group, Survivors Of Suicide (SOS), the first Monday every month. This helps people whom have suffered a loss come together and encourage, share, and perhaps find some healing within the group setting. It's important to get together with people who have also experienced a loss from completed suicide or anything tough in life. The empathy and understanding experienced creates so much hope and lets people know that they too can gain strength in the trails of life and find peace to move on. To know that a person is not alone in their experience is priceless and no money can buy.

The walk today- SUCCESSFUL! This shows that even in a small number- we can make a difference. Don't lose hope!

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