If you have suffered the grievous loss of someone close to you following a suicide then you know the devastating impact it has on the people that individual left behind. The tragedy cannot often be explained or understood. But despite the national and global statistics, the truth of the matter is, suicide can be prevented and lives can be saved.
SAVE [Suicide Awareness Voices of Education] was one of the nation’s first organizations dedicated to the prevention of suicide. They firmly believe suicide is preventable and that everyone has a role to play in helping to stop someone from taking their life. They work to raise public awareness, educate communities and equip every single person with the right tools that might help them SAVE a life.
Suicide is a difficult topic to talk about. For many years, a huge stigma has surrounded it. People disregarded the fact that it was tied to an underlying illness, disorder or trauma. But that shameful state has slowly shifted with the significant increase in awareness, candid conversations and mental health education. Something that takes over 38,000 American lives every year must be talked about. (And this number doesn’t even reflect the attempts). It must be given attention, assessment, compassion and coordination. According to reports issued by the CDC, approximately 90% of people who die by suicide suffer from a mental disorder or disease at the time of their death. And that makes it a complex public health issue that requires careful cooperation among health care providers, treatment services, family members and other concerned stakeholders. SAVE isn’t a crisis intervention organization but focuses its efforts and resources on six main program areas: Public Awareness, Education, Training and Consulting, Grief Support, Products and Resources and Research and Innovation. Advocacy is powerful. It creates change. And in this case, change can mean survival.
The voice of suicide doesn’t just speak for the victims. It also speaks for the survivors and those who suffer the deep grief from the loss of their child, sibling, friend, peer, student, colleague or coworker. Because the loss of one life involves many lives. After the tragic loss of her daughter, Adina Wrobleski and five others founded SAVE because they collectively agreed that there was a greater need for an organization to address suicide prevention and create larger awareness. The organization has been operating for almost 30 years and has been recognized on multiple levels as a distinguished leader for their achievements and advanced work in suicide prevention. They share personal stories of hope, encouragement and survival that connect communities so they can be a driving force behind building a legacy for life, rather than loss.
If you have personal experience with the debilitating despairs of depression or any other mental incapacity, you know that your view on survival can be dismal and dark. But life doesn’t have to be just black and white. So we’re serving up the beloved classic combo with courage. A standard champion of contrast to help us remember that darkness may mean despair but lightness can harness hope. It’s a simple but delicate design that embraces a solemn state but still offers significant style. A humanitarian halo that gives help so that others can get help.