Letter: Suicide Prevention Walk Set in Adams
To the Editor:
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people between the ages of 10 and 34; it is the only leading cause of death to have increased every year of the past decade. (Statistics provided by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention).
Members of the Berkshire Coalition for Suicide Prevention Board (BCSP) recently met with a group of youths to talk about the risks to the emotional and mental health of young people exposed to deliberately cruel posts on social media. We discussed how forums intended to foster communication can be used to bully others, and how victims of cyber bullying can feel increased isolation and anxiety and experience low self-esteem--especially those already struggling with mental illness or experiencing suicidal thoughts.
Many of the young individuals we spoke with did not know how to help a friend who had suicidal ideation. It is an important reminder that people young and not so young need education, support and intervention skills to decrease our suicide rates. We can all do something to make a difference.
If you think someone is thinking of suicide:
- Ask them directly: "Are you thinking of suicide?"
- Listen to them
- Refuse to keep secret the possibility that someone is contemplating suicide
- Immediately inform parents and/or call 911
- Don't leave someone talking about suicide alone. Stay with them until you can get them help.
On Sunday, Oct. 15, the third Berkshire County Out of the Darkness Community Walk will take place in Adams at the Adams Visitor Center, on the beautiful new section of the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail. The event is a celebration of hope. Everyone is welcome and there is no fee to attend. However, this event is a major fundraiser for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). Funds are used to support education in the community about suicide, provide trainings for first responders and teachers, and provide events and materials to schools and community groups across Berkshire County that combat stigma and increase awareness. These dollars also ensure that those who have survived suicide attempts or the death of someone close to them from suicide have support available through support groups and individual outreach.
We invite you to join us, or to make a contribution to this life-saving effort. More information is available at www.afsp.org/BerkshireCounty.
Nardacci is member of the board of the Berkshire Coalition for Suicide Prevention