Although millions of Americans struggle with mental illness, there is still a significant stigma around getting help. Sadly, this can lead to undiagnosed mental illnesses. In some cases, individuals commit suicide as a way to deal with their inner turmoil. We honor those who have lost a loved one to suicide through International Survivors of Suicide Day.
What is International Survivors of Suicide Day?
The United States Congress designated that the Saturday before Thanksgiving is a day on which we honor the survivors of suicide. The day of recognition, started in 1999, was primarily championed by Senator Harry Reid. Reid is himself a survivor as his father committed suicide.
In combination with National Survivors of Suicide Day, led by Congress, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention also marks the day. Their version, held on the same date, is known as International Survivors of Suicide Day.
When Do People Recognize It?
Every Saturday before Thanksgiving in the United States, or just five days before the holiday, the day is recognized. This year, it is on November 17, 2018. While November 17 is an important date, it is not the only time of year to celebrate and honor loved ones lost to suicide. However, November 17, 2018 is a special day where people can gather with others to express grief and honor loved ones who have passed.
How Can People Recognize Survivors?
Since there is such a stigma surrounding suicide and mental illness, the survivors of suicide rarely get attention or recognition. If you have had a family member or loved one die as a result of suicide, however, it is important to express that grief and connect with others. Just having people recognizing that you’re a survivor can be significant.
If you know someone who has lost a loved one to suicide, mark November 17, 2018 on your calendar. On that day, take the time to recognize their struggle and their grief. If you knew the person who committed suicide, mention a happy memory or listen to a particular story the survivor wants to tell.
Getting Rid of Mental Illness Misunderstandings
In addition to recognizing the survivors of suicide, it is essential to work to prevent future suicides from happening in the first place. Often, that means opening up about mental health and dispelling myths or misunderstandings right away.
Seek Help at PACE Mental Health Houston
If you’re looking for the best Houston behavioral therapist, look no further than PACE Mental Health Houston. Services and therapies are available for those who are dealing with the loss of a loved one as well as anyone struggling with suicidal thoughts. Therapies are available for all of the following disorders and conditions:
International Survivors of Suicide Day is a meaningful way to honor those who have lost loved ones to suicide. Through therapy at PACE Mental Health in Houston, Texas, survivors can work through their grief or find relief from their own mental illnesses. Call 866-357-9461 to learn more and to move forward with your mental health.