Written by Amy MacAlpine
I am a lawyer. I am a mother. I am a daughter and a sister.
My message = you are not alone.
Mental illness comes in so many shapes and forms. It not only affects those who are suffering but also those who are left behind. Depression and suicide leave a path of destruction. A tragedy that continues the cycle of depression. Survivors of suicide experience an entirely different kind of death. It is not the same as any other type of death. It is a trauma that requires a different support system, a different understanding, and a different expectation. Make no mistake, all deaths are a trauma, but I have seen both personally and professionally how suicide affects those left behind. Survivors experience a rollercoaster of guilt, anger, remorse, and sadness when coping with a suicide. It can be overwhelming and easily lead to depression and a feeling of being alone. Over the last 12 years, I have been surprised by how many people have reached out to me and have shared their story. No one knows like another survivor. I share the words of a kind social worker I met.
“You are coping normally to an abnormal trauma.”
Break the cycle. Don’t shut down. Reach out and talk to a counselor, social worker or friend. It will surprise you. You are not alone.
If you are thinking about suicide, please call 1-866-531-2600 or visit http://www.mentalhealthhelpline.ca/
Survivors, check out CMHA York South Simcoe’s programs to see what supports and services are available to you.