Suicide not only takes away one’s life but also leads to an unbearable pain and suffering for his/her survivors. The act leads to disastrous effects on various other lives. Understanding the pain and suffering of the survivors, the United States Congress observes International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day every year on the Saturday before American Thanksgiving day. In 2017, it will be observed in November 18. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) sponsors this event every year in more than 300 locations in the U.S. and 18 other countries.
Organized for individuals enduring the loss of a loved one, the event inspires them to join the events being held in their local communities and share their stories to find hope and relief. This year, AFSP Survivor Day 2017 will include the screening of an AFSP-produced documentary titled “The Journey: A Story of Healing and Hope” and a follow-up featurette, “The Journey Revisited.” The documentary is based on the suicide-loss experience shared by an individual and the featurette is based on six original journey participants who gathered three years later to share their journey of healing and relief from grief.
Tracing the history of International Survivors of Suicide Day
Introduced in good health to benefit others, the event was introduced by Senator Harry Reid in 1999. Reid introduced a resolution to the United States Senate that, in turn, led to the creation of National Survivors of Suicide Day. Reid had lost his father to suicide and hence, could understand the unbearable pain of the survivors of those who commit suicide. Soon, the day began to be observed in local communities and was renamed as International Survivors of Suicide Day.
Highs and lows are a part of everyday life. Considering the fact that no one stays happy all the time, stress is part and parcel of everyone’s life. A few among us choose to fight and stand strong against all the odds. On the contrary, there are others who surrender too quickly and become a cause of their worsening health. At times, the situation might spiral out of control and make the person think negative and contemplate actions like suicide. If such a situation arrives, it is important to be aware about How To Help Someone With Suicidal Thoughts.
An individual is forced to think about suicide when it appears to be the most suitable and final rescue from stress and worries. However, suicide does not bring an end to all the negativities. In fact, it starts the series of negativities when the survivors of those who commit suicide get affected by the dreadful act and almost get drowned in guilt and shame. There are several factors that can trigger one to commit suicide. Some of these are:
- Mental illnesses like depression and anxiety
- Traumatic experiences like physical or sexual abuse
- Addiction to substances
- Feeling of isolation
- Relationship troubles
- Desire to die
- Chronic pain
- Financial troubles
- Feeling of guilt/regret
- Excessive stress
Reasons to attend a survivor day event
Confused about whether to attend the Survivors day 2017 event? Here are some of the common reasons that highlight the need of attending this event so that one may feel positive about life. Mark your calendars for survivor day and time as November 18, 2017, at 4:30 p.m. ET (3:30 p.m. CT, 2:30 p.m. MT and 1:30 p.m. PT), and be there to share the grief with others dealing with the same plight.
Some of the common reasons to attend National Survivors of Suicide Day 2017 are:
- Establish connections
- Find a safe, supportive environment
- Understand that feelings are normal
- Find hope
- Learn ways to cope with a situation
- Heal grief
- Gain knowledge about resources available for help
- Help others
- Improve bonding between family members
- Be inspired
- Find comfort
- Stay positive
- Have empathy towards others
- Have patience
- Be less judgmental
How to attend Survivors Day event?
Attending a Survivors Day event is important, especially for those who have witnessed a suicide or have lost a loved one. It is certainly true that life goes on and one begins to learn to overcome the pain. But there is a possibility that the past would continue to haunt and bother the survivors. In such and many other similar situations, it is advisable to attend a Survivors Day event and gain benefits. Feeling confused about the best ways to attend this event. Read on to know some of the easy solutions:
Take a friend along: There is a possibility that a person might feel the need of attending the event but always felt nervous about attending it all alone. In such a situation, it is always better to take along a friend or a loved one to the event. This will not only boost the confidence, but also help one make many new friends.
Attend as per your comfort: There is no compulsion on any individual joining the event to attend it completely. It depends entirely on his/her choice whether he/she wants to be its part from beginning till the end or for a specific duration. In case, the concern is about reaching the venue, then it is important to know that one can also participate in the event even while sitting at the comfort of his/her home.
Adhere to limits: Participating in the event does not make it necessary to disclose the complete details of one’s story. Since the event welcomes all those who wish to share their stories of joy or grief, it solely depends on the participant’s choice whether he/she wants to share the entire story or just a bit of it.
Find support: Being a part of this event will enable one to meet and interact with people who have experienced a similar trauma. Therefore, it is easier to comprehend each other’s pain and offer support. One must understand that being a part of the event is not only about establishing relationships but also about learning about their mental health.
Dealing with grief associated with suicide is quite tough as it makes one feel isolated and troubled. Therefore, connecting with others through such events such as International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day can help one feel better and fight against their grief. One must know to grasp such opportunities to exchange thoughts, accept the fact that life goes on and let the pain heal with time.