As a nation we pause on Memorial Day and remember those who have died in combat. They died in order that we may continue to enjoy the many freedoms of our democracy. While pausing to remember the sacrifices made on our behalf I am put in mind of those who are now serving or who have served both here and abroad and who have been changed and struggle.
The evidence is clear that suicides by members of the military are rising. See, for example this NY Times article: Baffling Rise in Suicides Plagues the U.S. Military. That those who serve us or who have served us are placed in such peril is something we need to talk about.
[About suicide]: Perhaps no other life-threatening condition on the planet can be so positively impacted by honest, forthright and intimate conversations with friends, loved-ones, clients and colleagues. As we do this, we demystify suicide. We render it approachable by creating a net of understanding so strong and a willingness to intervene imbued with such resolve, that people can no longer fall through the cracks.
Preface, Waking Up Alive Kindle Edition by Richard Heckler
At the start of this Memorial Day Weekend I was sent a post from the TED Blog: TED Weekends breaks the silence for suicide survivors. JD Schramm, the speaker, points out that “19 out of 20 people who attempt suicide live but feel extreme isolation from others. This can lead to second, sometimes successful, attempt.” Follow the link to view Schramm’s TED Active Talk (from Palm Springs in 2011). Additional links are provided in the post so that you may continue the conversation he begins. His story is compelling, you will not be able to forget it.
May his talk encourage our action, especially for those who serve us or have served us in the military and now find themselves in a battle for their very life.
Do you have resources that may help someone who attempted suicide and survived? Please share this resource in the Comment section. Thank you.