by Jan McDaniel
September may be a sad month for you. If you lost a child, the beginning of the school year brings memories and heartache all mixed up together. For all of us, the change of seasons and "turning" of the calendar is bound to put a catch in our breaths. If your loss is recent, you may wonder if you can go on without the one who meant so much to you - or not. September is also Suicide Prevention month.
Messages about prevention efforts are sometimes very difficult for survivors of suicide loss. Suicide is complex and not well understood. Organizations may put forth slogans meant to help those who are considering suicide, but as survivors know, not all suicides are preventable. For some of our precious loved ones, their illnesses were terminal.
However, none of us want any other family to go through what we have. So, awareness around suicide and mental health is important. If you have the opportunity, speak out during September to help others understand. Work with local and national organizations in their prevention efforts if you can.
Suicide has no boundaries. Not national, racial, economic or social. Stress and circumstance present a puzzle because all kinds of things surround someone who is struggling, yet none of these things always cause suicide. It's not just lack or money or arguments or even long-term stress that cause a person to end his or her life. Yet, survivors often feel guilt for this reason or that as they try to "figure out" what happened. Neither is the final factor mental illness because suicides occur in their absence.
Trying to prevent suicide is difficult, but there is hope. And there is help. Local and online support groups exist. Counselors can help with the development of coping strategies. Sometimes, the right medication can make all the difference.
If you are suicidal, reach out for help. Don't go it alone. The future is unwritten, and others want to help you deal with your pain. Don't give up.
Don't give up.
Way for Hope
Losing someone you love is difficult, but it can mean a lot to hear from others traveling similar paths.
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Links of Value:
Alliance of Hope for Suicide Loss Survivors
National Alliance on Mental Illness
Word of God
"My Story" Big Daddy Weave
"Hope in Front of Me"
The Joy FM
Traumatic loss or preexisting conditions can worsen mental health. Use this info graphic to find help.
"Take Charge of Your Mental Health" - a free download from www.nami.org: