Sunday, February 3, 2008

If it's suicide prevention week in Quebec...

Where the hell does it say anything about it?

I am really upset, really upset. Starting today, February 3, through to the 9, it is suicide prevention week in Quebec, Canada. But, can I find anything about it? No. Do I see anything about it? Yes, a tiny little three line blurb in a weekly local paper that just says that it's Suicide Prevention Week. That's it.

I did a search on-line and came up with nothing about it. Nothing.

Quebec has one of the highest suicide rates in Canada. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among young men in Quebec. Do you think there would be a bit more noise about it?

To be fair, the colleges and universities are holding events and information sessions on suicide prevention - this is targeting an important group. The initiative to get this information into the schools is a huge step in the right direction when, at one time, you could't talk about suicide in the schools.

My frustration lies in the lack of information out there for the people who aren't attending school and - in my mind - ones who may be even more at risk of ending their life. Those who are school drop outs, who are unemployed or in dead end jobs. The disadvantaged, the homeless, the lonely ones. How will the news get out to them or those who love them? We need more action. We need more help.

Suicide is real. It affects the survivors every day. I had lost touch with my brother before he took his life at the age of 35, but I thought of him often before and I think of him often now. I think of the legacy he left behind for his two sons. Did you know that if a parent committed suicide, your own risk of suicide rises? And the irony of it all? He took his life during Suicide Prevention Week. He died three years ago this month.

I wrote about this last year, Suicide, not a disease, so no walkathons, ribbons, or research race. I'm just as passionate about it now. I try to bring the topic to the surface; I don't hide that JP killed himself. People need to know that people they know are touched by this. They need to know how close to home it can be.

I know most of my readers are not in Quebec - but you don't need to be here to make it an issue where you are. Please.


Anonymous said...

I think there needs to be a lot more education about suicide and suicide prevention out there for everyone. I was faced with a suicidal teen and had no idea how to handle that (other than asking for professional advice, which I did). But I didn't know whether or not discussing suicide would lead to someone committing it or not and that made it all very difficult.

ng2000 said...

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