Turning Pain into Purpose: Empowering Suicide Survivors

In today’s fast-paced and demanding world, mental health often takes a backseat. We push ourselves to fit into the world’s expectations, going beyond our limits to manage work-life balance and personal commitments, often at the expense of our own well-being. However….

November 18, 2023

In today’s fast-paced and demanding world, mental health often takes a backseat. We push ourselves to fit into the world’s expectations, going beyond our limits to manage work-life balance and personal commitments, often at the expense of our own well-being. However, what we don’t realize is that, amidst all this chaos, neglecting our mental health to a level where it starts impacting our daily life, can have dire consequences on our physical and mental wellbeing.

Suicide is the leading cause of death worldwide. Statistics reveal that almost every year, 800,000 people attempt suicide worldwide, which translates to one death every 40 seconds. Pause for a moment to reflect on the extent of the damage and brokenness that have penetrated our society from within. Today, on the occasion of International Suicide Survivors Day, we celebrate those among us who are strong and resilient enough to bounce back from darkness to light.

Through this blog, let’s uplift the untold voices of survivors who showed the courage to survive against all odds. By empowering suicide survivors, we can help them find their way back to life. We need to recognize as a community that the lives of survivors hold intrinsic value and that their existence in this world has meaning.

Turning Pain into Purpose: Empowering Suicide Survivors

What is suicide? And how can we empower survivors?

Suicide is a complex issue with numerous contributing factors, including mental disorders, substance abuse, and social isolation. Up to 90% of people who die by suicide have a diagnosable mental disorder. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Empowering survivors means providing them with the necessary resources and support that they need to cope with their trauma and rebuild their lives.

Road to Empowerment:
  1. The first step is to provide a safe space. Help them unwind the thoughts circling their mind. Patiently listen to them and help them understand their feelings and emotions surrounding the trauma. Validate their feelings and emotions and let them know that they are being heard. Encourage them to seek professional help.
  2. Suicide survivors often experience challenges like depression, stress, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Providing them with professional mental health care can help them navigate and work on their symptoms. Suggest support groups of people who have undergone similar losses. The support groups will help the survivors to openly share their feelings and minimise the fear of being judged. Keep ensuring that they do not have to confront their demons in isolation, instead, they are loved, supported, and welcomed.
  3. Help uplift the survivors. Encourage them to find hobbies and interests. Help them volunteer for activities they feel good about. Encourage them to identify and figure out what works best in their healing process. It is time to turn your pain into purpose and break stereotypical myths and social stigmas that construct invisible chains around your feet. These chains, often unspoken but deeply felt, push people to the verge of taking their own lives. But not anymore. It’s a crisis that needs a voice and shouldn't be overlooked. It’s high time to break those chains and breathe in fresh air.

Breaking the stigma: A conversation we must have

People who struggle with suicidal thoughts may feel ashamed or reluctant to open up about their feelings, driven by the fear of judgment or rejection. This pervasive stigma is a major barrier to prevention. It is a crucial need to break this stigma so that people use the power of their pain to transform their lives because they matter.

Empowering survivors to share their stories also acts as a catalyst for inspiration, illuminating a path out of darkness for those who are currently going through similar struggles. These survivors represent a potent force for change, and their stories are a testament to not only raising awareness but also instilling a profound sense of empowerment, reminding everyone that nothing is impossible; if they can overcome the monster of suicide, you can too, and that the journey from darkness to hope is achievable; the only key is “not giving up.”.

Prioritising mental health: Collective responsibility

Preventing suicide requires collective efforts from individuals, communities, and the government. At an individual level, it is crucial to understand the signs of mental health and proactively seek help when needed. This includes being cautious of our surroundings, looking for those who might need help but are not confident enough to ask, and extending support to them. A smile or a helping hand—even any simple, small gesture—could be the reason someone starts to believe in life again.

As a community, we need to create more open and welcoming support groups that radiate a sense of belonging and support. These environments should serve as a home for those who feel isolated, offering a door to knock on when they need help, instead of contemplating more tragic measures. This involves reducing the stigma associated with mental illness and promoting social connections. At the government level, policies should address the root causes of societal distress, such as poverty, unemployment, social inequality, etc, and take preventive measures to create a safer and better environment for people to live in.

These individual, community and governmental collaborations form a comprehensive and thoughtful approach to fostering mental well-being and preventing the tragedy of suicide.

Dear reader, always remember one thing: your life matters, and it is filled with purpose. Don’t give up, you got this!

Conclusion

In the quietest corners of our lives, behind closed doors or pretended smiles, we hide our most profound and silent struggles. They are the aftermath of a relentless battle we fight daily against darkness and despair. Your scars, the cracks that tell the tales of resilience, and the hollow space within are not marks of shame; instead, they are badges of strength that demand to be embraced and worn with confidence. This is proof that they are not merely enduring but rather won.

If you ever find yourself needing someone to talk to, whether it's about personal challenges, tough times, or just the stresses of life, there are helplines ready to lend an understanding ear. Taking that first step towards a brighter future is a sign of strength, and seeking help is a positive choice. Remember, you are important, and your presence in this world has a meaningful impact. You don't have to face it alone. Reach out, because you matter.