Stories of Survivors Matter But So Do The Numbers

Next Saturday, November 18, 2017, is International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day.  This a day for those to gather and remember loved ones we have lost to suicide. It was once thought the for every death by suicide, six people were effected. Renowned suicidiologist Ed Schneiderman famously made this estimate.  Since then data and science has helped up come to greater understanding of how many people are effected by a suicide.

This past week was the International Suicide Research Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada. Part of the summit was dedicated to the impact of suicide on communities.  Dr. Juile Cerel presented research that expands on a growing body of evidence the impact of suicide has. That those who felt the strongest impact to the loss, this  was more likely to have depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, prolonged grief, and suicide ideation.

Dr. Cerel further expanded on this research with another article recently published.  That out of 1,500 respondents, 50 percent of them have been exposed to a suicide loss.  With 34 percent of these individuals reporting they were significantly bereaved by the loss.  In addition to this, a review of 18 studies about the impact of suicide loss estimated that 4 percent of the population will be impacted by a suicide within a calendar year and that 22 percent of the population was effected by a suicide loss in their lifetime.

On International Suicide Survivor Loss Day, we will here stories of suicide loss from others and those in our communities. We will be able to sit with others, listen, and perhaps share our own stories. These stories will hopefully bring a feeling of support and perhaps healing.  These days are helpful reminders that you are not alone. It’s also important to note that science and data is also beginning to tell the story too.

Thank you locally to the Capital Region Chapter of the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention and the National Chapter for it’s tireless efforts to organize these days every year.

So please join us at our local event at The Krause Center at Samaritan Hospital for a day of healing and support. There are also 7 other locations in the Capital Region and also many others nation and world wide (search for them here).  You may also view an event online and find a list of times here. 


Sean Erreger (Co-Chair of The Task Force)

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