Since 2003, the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the World Health Organisation have marked the 10 September as World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) to spread awareness about our capability to prevent suicide and suicidal behaviour.
To mark the day, EIP paralegal manager, Sharon St. Louis, who also heads the Mental Health First Aider (MHFA) team at EIP, posted her thoughts about suicide on the company intranet. As a certified MHFA, who is experienced in assisting people with mental health problems, she shared why it is important to speak candidly and be compassionate with people experiencing suicidal thoughts.
Here is Sharon’s post:
“Today is World Suicide Prevention Day.
As some of you may know, I spent a few years as a Listening Samaritan and many of the calls we took were callers who had suicidal thoughts, had made previous attempts or were in the process of taking their own life.
I have understood and seen the benefits of taking the time to actively listen to someone that needs to talk and learnt that asking that question during the course of your conversation of “are you feeling suicidal” or “are you thinking of taking your life” is not suddenly going to put the thought into that person’s head.
For those contemplating suicide, maybe it is not something as final as death that they are looking for, but a way to make it all stop and find a way through the pain and desperation. Taking the time to help someone to find an alternative path might just help.”
To learn more about WSPD, you can visit the IASP website here.