Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

October 28, 2011

Help Prevent Suicides

Chris Frantsvog
Journal-Express

Des Moines —  

To the Editor:
Statistics say that someone in Iowa today will die by suicide.
However, if the person who died was your family member, you would know for certain that the death was not just a number.  Whether suicide rates are going up or down doesn't matter to you.  The only thing you know is that this awful event has torn your life apart.  Whether you live in Knoxville or New York City, the tragedy ripples through your community as well.
If you have lost someone to suicide, there are probably days when you suffer silently, because nobody knows what to say, or because friends are afraid of saying the wrong thing.  There are probably other days when you explode in anger for no apparent reason.  Whether you lost a child, a parent, a friend, or a spouse, you find that you don't know what to do next.
People who have survived the loss of a loved one to suicide have found help by turning to others who have been through the same experience.  They understand the grief.  They understand the guilt, and the anger and confusion.
Every year, there is an opportunity to learn that you can heal with the help of others who have been where you are.  You can live life again.  There is hope.  Across the country, people gather for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Survivors of Suicide Day of Conferences.  Please join us:
Saturday, Nov. 19 at 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with check in at 9:30 a.m.  Des Moines University Student Education Center, 3200 Grand Ave., Des Moines, Iowa.
This is a free event, and lunch is provided.  But you are asked to register at www.dmu.edu/event/survivor.  For more information, please call 515-323-3205.  You can also receive information about how to sign up for a live conference on your computer if you are unable to attend in person.
Please clip this out and give it to a friend you know who has suffered this devastating loss.  This is an event to help people heal.
Chris Frantsvog
Polk County Suicide Prevention Coalition
Des Moines