Sunday, January 13, 2008
Suicide is the Leading Cause of Violent, or Accidental Death
I find it so disturbing that in British Columbia, Canada we hear so much in the news about how car accidents destroy people and the families who love them. Every time you open the paper, or watch the news there are stories about car accidents, or drownings, deaths by fires or murders.
There is even a 60 person gang task force being set up in B.C.'s Lower Mainland to deal with the number of murders this past year in the Metro Vancouver area. I was unable to find statistics for the number of murders in Metro Vancouver in 2007, but I am certain in cannot have more than doubled since 2005. If it had doubled it would mean 62 people were murdered here in this past year.
By contrast, in 2005, 403 people committed suicide. Where is all the support and the task forces for these people? The people whose deaths go so unnoticed? I rarely hear about a person committing suicide. Imagine if, like the 60 person gang task force, we had the equivalent number of people investigating and trying to prevent suicides as were committing suicide. We have 60 detectives working on less than 60 murders a year, so why not 403 more health care workers helping people with mental illnesses, or people in difficult circumstances work towards recovery and a desire to live?
Maybe as a community we need to be more vocal about how often suicide is happening and the impact it has on those left behind. Maybe then we would get the resources we need, more pdocs, more psychiatric support, more information about how to get the help you need, when you need it and more funding to help stop all these sad and unnecessary deaths.