World Suicide Prevention Day

World Suicide Prevention DayIt’s World Suicide Prevention Day.

I don’t want to talk a whole lot about it. To say that days like today hit home would be understating it.

It has been one year, three months and ten days since my brother took his own life.

He had recently been diagnosed as bipolar and he suffered from severe depression. He, like a lot of other people with such mental health issues, had been self medicating with drugs and alcohol, and that only made matters worse.

His mental illness was only part of him. He was funny and goofy and he loved his kids and his wife and his family and he didn’t put up with bullshit. He worked himself to the bone, so hard that he’d already torn his back up and he wasn’t even forty. He’d do work for local churches and never charge a dime.

He could draw like an angel and swear like a devil.

And he was sick. His demons got to be too much for him in the end.

People are going to do a lot of talking about warning signs and what to do if you feel like you’re at the end of your rope.  If you’re in that spot or if somebody you love is in that spot, pay attention.  Reach out if you need help.  Help is  there. Hope is there.  You’re not alone, not matter how much it feels that way.

But on the flipside…there are also people like me.  People who are thinking about those they lost to suicide.  People who saw the signs, who tried to do something.

There were signs with my brother.  He talked about doing it. We knew he was sick.  We tried to get help for him.

And sometimes…it doesn’t work. If you’ve been in that place…be kind to yourself.  I’m still struggling with guilt, with regret, with anger. That struggle will probably continue the rest of my life.  I guess it’s normal.

Below is a list of suicide hotline numbers for various countries, list from International Bipolar Foundation.

Argentina: +5402234930430

Australia: 131114

Austria: 017133374

Belgium: 106

Bosnia & Herzegovina: 080 05 03 05

Botswana: 3911270

Brazil: 212339191

Canada: 5147234000 (Montreal); 18662773553 (outside Montreal)

Croatia: 014833888

Denmark: +4570201201

Egypt: 7621602

Estonia: 3726558088; in Russian 3726555688

Finland: 010 195 202

France: 0145394000

Germany: 08001810771

Holland: 09000767

Hong Kong: +852 2382 0000

Hungary: 116123

India: 8888817666

Ireland: +4408457909090

Italy: 800860022

Japan: +810352869090

Mexico: 5255102550

New Zealand: 0800543354

Norway: +4781533300

Philippines: 028969191

Poland: 5270000

Portugal: 21 854 07 40/8 . 96 898 21 50

Russia: 0078202577577

Spain: 914590050

South Africa: 0514445691

Sweden: 46317112400

Switzerland: 143

United Kingdom: 08457909090

USA: 18002738255

Veterans’ Crisis Line: 1 800 273 8255/ text 838255