An Open Letter to Those Considering Suicide

Suicide is a taboo topic. People don't particularly like talking about it. Men especially have trouble sharing how they feel. This is particularly scary because although women make 3 or 4 times more suicide attempts than men, men die by suicide at a rate four times higher than that of women. According to a report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), more men in Ontario died by suicide in the past 10 years than died in car crashes. Further,  73% of hospital admissions for people aged 10-44 are for attempted suicide and suicide is the second leading cause of death for Canadians aged 10-24.

I wanted to share a story and a message to those considering suicide. In your darkest moments I want you to remember that suicide is not your only option. It is not the only way out. You may think those around you are better off without you but that could not be further from the truth. Those dark thoughts that enter your mind and burrow in, they distort the truth. I hope this story will help you recognize that you touch so many people and losing you will impact them all greatly.

In November 2015, one of my orientation leaders- “Soph” at Western University died by suicide. His death allowed me to realize the amount of lives, we affect daily. A loved one's death by suicide is not something that is taken lightly by any family or friends, and I understood that prior. But after his death, I saw the flurry of students in tears over a man they barely knew. I then understood our lives touch more people than we realize. At points when you want to give up, remember that. Remember that you make an impact on so many people and you may not even realize it.

Your strengths and your weaknesses not only shape who you are but also others around you. Your friends, your family, your peers, your teammates - they rely on you, be it for your humour, your sensitivity, your compassion, your brilliance, your passion or your kindness. And although it may not feel like it, you are loved. Suicide is not the only way out. It may feel like it is but it isn't. You are much stronger than you believe and with the right support system you can get through what seem's like the an infinite dark tunnel. Recovery is far from easy; however, you don't have to do it alone. If you are considering suicide talk to someone - be it a friend, parent, Prof, counsellor, helpline. It doesn't matter who. The road to recovery will be challenging, but you are worth the fight.

I think scars are like battle wounds - beautiful, in a way. They show what you've been through and how strong you are for coming out of it. (Demi Lovato) 

If you or someone you know is considering suicide please visit this site to find crisis services near you.