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A-OK Day-In Memory of Someone who has died from Suicide

A-OK Day-In Memory of Someone who has died from Suicide

mbradshaw

On the 20th March CASPER in conjunction with the MISS Foundation is launching A-OK day – a day on which we perform acts of kindness in memory of someone who has died from suicide.

CASPER is an organisation that supports families bereaved by suicide and works to prevent suicide. Our position on the practice of psychiatry and the use of psychiatric drugs reflects our commitment to these activities and the evidence that psychiatric labelling and the use of psychiatric drugs increase the risk of suicide and other adverse events and pathologise those who are grieving. It also reflects our commitment to respecting the choices made by the bereaved and those experiencing suicidal thoughts and behaviours.

From 1999 to 2010, the suicide rate among Americans ages 35 to 64 rose by nearly 30 percent, to 17.6 deaths per 100,000 people, up from 13.7. Although suicide rates are growing among both middle-aged men and women, far more men take their own lives. The suicide rate for middle-aged men was 27.3 deaths per 100,000, while for women it was 8.1 deaths per 100,000. (1)  And high profile suicides like L’Wren Scott’s can often “inspire other people, unfortunately, to view suicide as an option.  It’s important that society becomes more comfortable with discussing it. Then the people left behind will not have this stigma.”

These numbers are not statistics but rather loved ones who saw no other way out.   Maria Bradshaw, the Co-Founder and CEO of CASPER, lost her only son to suicide in 2008, which was likely preventable because he was prescribed medication off label.  I came to know of Maria, and of her son and her organization while doing research regarding white collar crime as it relates to death (an area overlooked by our lawmakers).

Kindness is the cornerstone of suicide prevention. An act of kindness says ‘you’re not alone’ and ‘you matter.’  The A-OK  event is happening in New Zealand but there’s a lot we can do right here in the United States to honor those who have passed from suicide. Buy someone in line a coffee in memory of your loved one, plant a tree in memeory or reach out to someone you know who is going through a tough time and offer love and support.

Post a story or memory to your Facebook page and inspire others to reach out and help.

Or donate to CASPER or reach out to Lifeline if you or someone you know may be thinking about suicide.

 

 

2 Comments
  • A.N
    Reply

    It think it’s helpful to be kind to other people, at least on a basic level. Even someone who smiles and appears to be happy can be fighting a battle you know nothing about. In the professional space, we are conditioned to be civil, polite, and to leave any personal issues at the door. Unfortunately, in the face bipolar disorder or major depression, that’s almost impossible to accomplish. You really can’t escape your anxiety, self-hate, sadness, fear, and loneliness. The more you defy it, the more control it takes. As they say, we are but as sick as our secrets.

    Secretly I wish I weren’t alive. Secretly I’m just biding my time, waiting to die. I ponder suicide all my waking hours. It’s always in the back of the file cabinet, so to speak, just in case I summon the courage to pull the trigger. The only thing that stands between me and the business end of a Smith &Wesson .357 is what is left of my family. We lost Daddy this year. The pain is unbearable. And I am not so cruel as to inflict that sort of pain again because of my selfish suicide.

    So here I am.

    March 20, 2014 at 2:53 pm

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