Suicide prevention is recognized nationally during the month of September and here at Ashe Library there is a special display to promote the topic. It is a well-known statistic that Ashe County ranks high across the state for death by suicide. The stigma surrounding victims and survivors of suicide inhibits many from seeking help. There is a great need to change public attitudes, and increase awareness and understanding about suicide as a major public health problem that is largely preventable. Suicide survivors are left with a sense of unexpected and intense grief, shock, confusion, and numbness. We know that grief from the suicide of a loved one is complicated and may last for the rest of one’s life. “What if’s,” “if only’s,” “should of’s,” “could of’s” tend to abound in the minds of those grieving. The relationships of loved ones who are mourning may be strained by differences in the way they grieve, sometimes leading to further anguish. For these reasons, it is important to seek help with resolving questions and issues that involve suicide and to find peace.
|Gretchen Summervile of Western Youth Network|
Please join the Ashe Health Alliance in supporting suicide prevention. Together we can reduce the number of lives shaken by a needless and tragic death. If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
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I recently listened to an audiobook by Sue Klebold, A Mother’s Reckoning. Sue is a survivor of murder/suicide, (mother of Columbine shooter, Dylan Klebold) and events of the horrific tragedy that took place 16 years ago in Littleton, Colorado. Ms. Klebold has endured incredible pain and heartbreak, and now she shows tremendous courage as she comes forward to share her story. Since that fateful day in 1999, Sue has dedicated her life to finding the answers to what drove her son to kill. She is currently an activist for mental health and suicide prevention, and all the proceeds from the sales of her book are being donated to suicide prevention and mental health. She actually calls it brain health and brain illness throughout her book, for a very smart reason. Mental refers to something intangible, and some experts believe that if we change the terminology from mental health to brain health, because the brain is something tangible that we KNOW needs attention, it could help people be more open to truths of mental/brain illness. After looking at evidence she saw, for only the first time, after the tragedy had occurred and by talking to numerous medical and other experts in the field of mental health, Sue learned that Dylan was extremely depressed. He was lonely, bullied and had suicidal tendencies at least two years prior to Columbine. In her book Klebold apologized to family and friends of Dylan’s victims, but she also focused on mental health and how various factors impact a child’s mental health, including their ability to lead to a child having suicidal tendencies. Most mass shootings have suicide as their ultimate mission, with the murders providing a path for the shooter to get there and lessening the likelihood that the shooter will be able to change his mind. This book is available for check-out at the library along with other selected titles. Check out our display and read more.