Suicide is never an easy topic to discuss, but having a national day to recognize its impacts can be a boon for those focusing on suicide prevention, says a Canadian expert.
“When we’re able to discuss a social issue is when we can bring light to an issue and sort of dispel some of the myths and start to attack the stigma around the issue,” said Mara Grunau, executive director of the Centre for Suicide Prevention.
“It’s an opportunity to engage in conversation. It’s hard to just strike up a conversation about suicide, but if the media is telling us this is the day that we’re recognizing it, it gives people an invitation to enter albeit an awkward conversation, but a purposeful conversation.”
Grunau told 680 CJOB that World Suicide Prevention Day, Sept. 10, is a way to bring a very sensitive issue to the forefront and make people aware of some of the resources out there – for both people who are suicidal and family members of those who have attempted suicide or taken their own lives.
“If we can create an atmosphere and environment around us of non-judgmentalism and openness, then hopefully we’re going to be able to see people who are at risk more readily, and people who are at risk might be more comfortable in speaking to us,” she said.
“When they get to the point of considering suicide, that means that is the only exit they can see. It’s the only way out of the pain. They don’t really want to die, they want the pain of living to end.”