Check out these statistics… The World Health Organization estimates that over 800,000 people die by suicide each year – that’s one person every 40 seconds. Up to 25 times as many again make a suicide attempt. I know, pretty sobering stuff right?
On Saturday it was World Suicide Prevention Day, and rather than focus on the negative statistics, the purpose of the day was to provide worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides.
In the lead-up to the WSPD, I took part in an Instagram photo challenge run by a local Live for Tomorrow community group. For ten days I was challenged to post a different photo based on a daily prompt (for example, Today I feel…, Beauty in my Community) and all of them focussed on different ways we celebrate life. Thanks to social media, these were shared to a wider audience via the #livefortomorrow hashtag.
I love photo challenges, so taking part in this felt exciting and easy to do. During the ten days I appreciated taking the time to take and source photos of things that were meaningful to me. Adding a narrative helped to capture my thoughts and feelings and reminded me the positive things I have in my life.
By day ten, I felt truly reflective about issues in and around suicide and it made me remember my beautiful friend Heather who passed away about ten years ago. Heather had a generous heart and I recalled how kind, funny and engaging she was. Whilst her death was tremendously sad and shocking at the time, I feel her spirit encourages me to be the best I can be. I keep faith that she has found peace in heaven and it makes me feel strong about talking honestly and respectfully about suicide. No, it’s not an issue we should treat as taboo or inappropriate to talk about.
Below I share with you the ten photos from the Live For Tomorrow challenge. I share these with great intentions and wholeheartedly say they a true reflection of me.
I leave you with these words from Live For Tomorrow…
Put your hand over your heart. Feel that? That’s called purpose. You’re alive for a reason. Don’t give up.