THER VOICE: Suicide prevention: reach out, save a life

When was the last time you asked someone if they were okay?

A friend, neighbor, co-worker, family member, someone who seemed pretty down lately, lacking their usual demeanor?

If we each did a little more asking and paying as much attention to one’s mental health as we do one’s physical ailments, we could reduce the high rate of suicide.

With more lives lost each year through suicide than the number of deaths due to homicide and war combined, prevention must be our paramount strategy. See www.iasp.info/wspd.

As public awareness is growing, it needs to be translated into action — improving policies, procedures, laws, and training for the identification and treatment of mental illness and risk for suicide.

Stigma and silence persist around mental illness.

Another year has passed since my 21-year-old daughter took her life in 2010. I continue to search for ways to help save others from experiencing such tragedy.

At a recent community fundraiser I won the silent auction bid for a commemorative U.S. flag to be raised over our nation’s capitol on day of my choosing.

This Wednesday, Sept. 10, annual World Suicide Prevention Day, a flag will fly in memory and honor of my child, Susanna Gabay!

Reach out - check in with someone - save a Life!

Susan Gabay lives in Mosier.



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