Posts Tagged ‘survivors’

What can people do at the time of a suicide death to be supportive? The answer is one I’d give to anyone who wants to truly help a friend at almost any time of need: Be there. Do the little things. Don’t say something to make yourself feel better, but say something to make the person who’s just lost someone feel better. Sometimes, you don’t have to say anything at all. Read article here.

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The Sarasota Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention hosted a forum today at Selby Library where two men shared their stories as they bike from city to city to speak on the subject.

Check out the upcoming American Foundation for Suicide Prevention-Los Angeles events! Specific details about each event can be found here.

Preparations are already being made for the 2012 Overnight Walk in San Francisco. The Out of the Darkness Overnight is a fundraising walk of up to 18 miles throughout the night, designed to raise funds and make a bold statement to bring the issue of suicide out into the light. Join our team!

On Wednesday, May 25th, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), co-chair of the Senate Military Family Caucus, along with a bipartisan group of Senate colleagues, sent a letter to the President urging the reversal of a long-standing White House policy that withholds letters of condolence from families of servicemen and servicewomen who die by suicide. In the letter, the Senators highlight the incidence of suicide among troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, and reiterate that ending the policy “will provide comfort to the families struggling with the loss of a loved one, while also reducing the stigma that prevents too many men and women in uniform from seeking the mental health care they need,” (Senator Barbara Boxer). The letter is also signed by the following Senators:

Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)
Senator Jon Tester (D-MT)
Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR)
Senator Mark Udall (D-CO)
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
Senator Richard Burr (R-NC)
Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL)
Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR)

With this latest Senate action, now is a great time for all of us to contact the White House in support of the above Senators and in support of military families across the country.

VIA EMAIL
The White House may be contacted via email 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by visiting http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact. After filling in the required information, under subject select “Afghanistan and Iraq” and post the following message:
I support the US Senators who recently wrote to you regarding the White House position on no condolence letters to military families who lose loved ones to suicide. Mr. President, please say no to the stigma associated with mental health issues and suicide. Please change this policy now!

VIA PHONE
The White House may be contacted via phone at 202-456-1111. When you call indicate that you want to leave a message for the President:
I support the US Senators who recently wrote to you regarding the White House position on no condolence letters to military families who lose loved ones to suicide. Mr. President, please say no to the stigma associated with mental health issues and suicide. Please change this policy now!

Please contact the White House with the above message this weekend through June 3rd, to not only show your support for your Senators but also to lend a voice to military families across the country.

There are encouraging signs that suicide prevention is becoming a higher priority for our nation. And there are signs that a growing grassroots movement has taken hold, which offers hope for preventing this tragic loss of life.

Our challenge is clear: we must reverse the trend and reduce suicide in our country. The opportunity to do so is equally clear: we must develop the necessary knowledge, political will, resources, and programs. Because of you, our friends and supporters, there are SIGNS OF HOPE. Read report here.

275 cities around the world participated in day of healing for survivors of suicide loss on November 20th. Read article here.

If you were unable to attend, you can visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention website to watch the program online at no charge. View webcast here.

While this letter sounds good in theory, I do believe that actions speak louder than words. LGBT bullycides will continue as long as we are a nation that treats the LGBT community as second-class citizens. What kind of message does the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy send? What about Marriage Equality? Also, WHY doesn’t the White House send letters of condolence to families of military suicides? These are the things that need to change before I put any faith in a canned response from the White House. Show me, Mr. POTUS, don’t just tell me. Read more here.

Read President Obama’s letter here.