In the past five years, suicide has risen over 30% in our parish. Attempted suicides have risen over 300%. The Center for Disease Control labels suicides and suicide attempts as self-directed violence. This violence impacts families and neighbors and leaves a permanent mark on our community. If this were a different type of violence, for instance a mugging or other type of assault, we would be quick to recognize this as a problem that we must address as a community. But we, as a society, tend to treat self-directed violence differently because of the belief that the perpetrator and the victim are one and the same. In truth, there are many more victims.
We don’t talk about suicidal feelings or suicide attempts. They are often seen as private matters not to be openly discussed. The idea that suicide involves only a single person must be replaced with the knowledge that violence in any form hurts each and every member of a family and of a community.
We need to make a change. [read more]