As a medically, mentally and cognitively disabled activist, who blogs about mental health issues, especially suicide prevention, I commend what you’ve done in the last 4 days in trying to make an effort to raise awareness about suicide prevention, as well as I’m saddened and concerned as far as as the issue of suicide contagion, which you’re also discussing.
So many outlets now, in addition to CNN are starting to talk about suicide prevention initiatives without stigma and that’s commendable, too.
Your organization in the last 20+ hours, did a beyond commendable job in trying to help with suicide prevention, even prior to the passing of Anthony Bourdain, yesterday, in where you had mental health professionals who discussed openly without stigma on raising suicide awareness prevention, the day before he died.
In addition to that, while trying to provide a safe and supportive place for not only your employees who are grieving the loss of a beloved co-worker, who was beloved by so many, including anyone who’s life was touched by Anthony Bourdain, even if they may not ever had the privilege to have met him but still felt they knew him, as well as trying to support his grief stricken friends, many who were also established and well respected people who are also famous, by giving them a safe and supportive safe place to talk about their heartbreaking loss.
The one thing I’ve tried to do in my activism, that I do by blogging, is also trying to support families, especially children, who lose a parent, if not parents by suicide.
I also know this, because I was a mother, where almost 10 years ago, I did try to commit suicide.
So I try to remove stigma both personally and as an activist but lack the credentialling that is needed, because I’m not a clinically trained professional and in my case, while I hope to help save lives with honest talk about suicide for those need it or for those who lost loved ones from it, I don’t want to be well known.
But it’s more terrifying for me to think that so many grieving families aren’t as supported as they could be, so it’s worth the risk to potentially lose my privacy and/or anonymity in public.
And while I love my children more than anything, and in my case I was in both medical and mental health crisis and I didn’t love myself and I thought everyone was better off without me, which when talking so open and honestly has helped others.
And while I’m not trying to make this about me, I only do what I do to help others learn from it and for hopefully to reduce the chances of what happened to those I love the most, it wasn’t in vain and it has helped other people.
The point I’m trying to make, is with your reach and access to resources, I do hope you in the coming days, address with clinically trained professionals on how we can best support children who’ve lost their parents or other people who’ve lost parents, spouses and other loved ones.
If this was something you planned on doing, I apologize in advance, as well as I hope other media outlets, in addition to now supporting and educating on suicide prevention, will also discuss on how we can support families but in with special regards to children, who are beyond devasted and can’t comprehend that the loss of their parent this way, in absolutely NO way, reflects the abundance of love of those who they leave behind but they can’t understand without more support services and without our society destigmatizing suicide and other mental health issues that are fatal to people.
As well as reduce the risk that for some families, sadly this can become a history that tragically sometimes repeats itself, if not comprehensively addressed with professional guidelines, we’ve already seen that in the past, with some celebrity suicides.
So hopefully you will choose or already have planned on having mental health professionals discuss on your network, of how to support families and friends that have to go through these tragedies, and by doing this will start a desperately needed dialogue that has to go hand in hand with suicide prevention initiatives.