Monday, October 6, 2008

The Support Network

On October 2nd, I attended a breakfast in support of The Support Network. This amazing non-profit organization provides free professional walk-in counselling and a distress line (manned by trained volunteers) to people suffering from depression, contemplating suicide or affected by the suicide of a loved one. I was moved by the stories told by people who had reached out for help: one mother told of how they had taught her to survive after her son died by suicide.

I was also stunned by the stats: More people will die from suicide in Alberta than from vehicular accidents. Alberta has the highest rate of suicide in Canada. Men between the ages of 35 and 49 are at most risk of dying by suicide. Depression will move ahead of heart disease as the number one health problem in the near future.

Of course, whenever someone dies by suicide, they leave behind a family struggling to understand why. A family devastated by guilt and sorrow and the pain of silence.

I hope everyone knows of this service and knows that there is someone who is ready to listen.

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