World Suicide Prevention Day 2010

September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day. I am happy to be participating in the efforts to bring awareness to suicide prevention and the many ways we can become more informed and involved. In an effort to literally save lives people will share the message of hope with the world.

Four years ago this month I was an inpatient on a trauma unit at an area psychiatric facility. I had attempted to take my own life. I had never been involved in supporting a cause prior to that experience, and it took about 2 years to get to a point where I was ready to get involved and help others. I think what drives me most to support this initiative is the knowledge that I am taking such an awful experience and using it for good. It’s self-serving in many ways… I feel good knowing that I have helped. I feel good knowing that what I went through and what my family endured was not in vain. I feel good hoping that I can help someone to avoid the pain that I experienced. I feel good hoping that I might be able to help a family member understand that it is not their fault. It feels good to participate.

We are blessed with the privilege of having multiple organizations pull together this year to provide an amazing resource for awareness called Take 5 To Save Lives. By September 10th you want to make sure you have visited that site and that you are following @take5savelives on Twitter as well as @afspnational. You can also join the Facebook event for Take 5 To Save Lives.

Essentially, the message is, it only takes 5 minutes to save lives. There is plenty of work to do year round to support this important cause, but on this one day, September 10, 2010 you just have to take 5 minutes and it will make a difference!

Have you seen Finding Nemo? Do you remember the part at the end of the movie where all of the fish were caught in a big net by fishermen? Nemo was able to help save Dory and all of the other fish by getting them to “Swim down!” and as a group exert enough force on the net to snap it. Alone, one fish could not do it, but together as a group, they accomplished something amazing and life saving. That’s what we have the opportunity to do here. I hope you will join me!

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