I don't have enough fingers and toes to count the number of people that I personally know who have succumbed to suicide. A person of thirty, should NOT know that many people who have felt that they had no choice but to end their own lives.
We all know that Alaska has a much higher rate of suicide than the rest of the country, and that Western Alaska (where I am from) is SEVEN times that of the rest of the nation. There have been countless dollars spent on suicide prevention programs, and we aren't seeing much of a difference.
I think that there is a great amount of time leading up to that moment when a person feels that they can't bear no more. I look at my uncles life, and see a long and painful road that led to that decision. I look at the death of one of my childhood friends, and see the same. I look at the death of my first boyfriend and see the same, again. While each and every one of their circumstances were drastically different, I think that the road leading up the final choice was the same.
Many villages are too small to get grant money for suicide prevention programs.
But why do we wait until the end to try and help? A person probably only calls a suicide hot line when they are seriously contemplating ending his or her life. I'm no expert, but based on my own experiences, I think that WE as a COMMUNITY can and NEED to do MORE!
We all know every one's business in a small town, you can't even take a sh!t without the whole town knowing about it, so why don't we take advantage of being such a small and close community and put it to use? The next time you see someone being bullied, speak up, befriend that person. It could save his or her life. When you hear of a woman being raped or molested or beaten, let her know that you are there, let her know that you think what the perpetrator did is UNACCEPTABLE. When you know that someone is grieving, offer your support, not just once, but continuously. When you see a child growing up in a not so good home, speak to that child, kindly. The simple act of reaching out, may save a life or two. We may not be able to save everyone, but wouldn't you feel much better knowing that you did everything you could for someone who is suffering? We owe it to ourselves, our youth and our future to do everything in our power to help one another.