Exit stage left, 2016 has seen too many leave

More needs to be done to help those that need and want it, instead of watching them die

If ever there was a year to forget, this would be the one.

Nevermind the personal struggles, health challenges and the other hurdles I’ve had to leap over, crawl under and run through, there is one thing that continues to put my brain in a constant state of confusion and sadness.

Death of people I know, but not for the reason it should ever happen for.

At least four people I had grown up with, knew through family or had met along the many journeys I’ve made have all decided this world no longer needed them and took their own life.

Yes, suicide.

Now while I had not seen or heard from these individuals in many years, in some cases decades, but nonetheless the effect on me was profound.

As well it should be.

No one should have to feel they have no one to come to, no other options, nothing left on this Earth that is worth sticking around for.

Unfortunately though, those thoughts are all too frequent in far too many people these days.

And while it’s enormously tragic, the real tragedy is that the systems designed to provide the help, support and programs these individuals need are either over-subscribed, under-funded, constrained by lack of everything or non-existent.

What this has led to is people, literally, falling through the cracks.

From those suffering from mental illnesses having to attempt to deal with their issues on their own to those that wind up homeless because they can’t deal with it to the ones that take themselves and extremely tragically, sometimes others down for the count, the promises to improve the system and make the lives of those in need better come to the forefront.

However, in spite of all that, the deaths continue to mount and the outcry for change has become a constant scream.

Suicide.

That word is something a lot of people struggle to say and sometimes can’t even come to grips with the thought behind the word.

Yet, it is a fact that hundreds of people will be touched by the consequences of that word every week and many others will worry the stigma behind it will attach itself to them, following them wherever they go, people staring and judging yet, it’s all an illusion they deal with inside, by themselves.

And, all because the system has let them down because it isn’t doing what it’s supposed to.

Yes, there are those among the population that prefer not to accept any assistance, that choose to walk that path, but that doesn’t mean us as a society should let them simply go that direction without at least making the attempt to help.

However, because of how the present mental health system has its professionals respond, they can’t even provide the bare necessities to those that ask and want the needed help unless those people are in immediate danger.

So, what is the solution?

The fairly obvious answer is that more money needs to be put into front line services, find more staff so that caseloads are more manageable and make attempts to have services more attainable and readily available, not simply for those that live in major urban centres or because it’s a medical emergency.

What isn’t so obvious, and harder for a lot of people to digest, is that eliminating the stigmatism mental illness and post-traumatic stress disorder still has. That means talking about it to our youngest students, educating everyone on the signs to look for, letting everyone know you can be approached at any time for a listening ear and by not giving in to the old, typical stereotype of buck up, stay strong, be a man (or woman) or suck it up.

For the tragedies to stop, it starts with one person you.

But that is…just an observation.

 

Just Posted

Wolf Creek Schools raises Treaty 6 flag for first time

Chiefs, school officials took part in a ceremony that is aimed at acknowledging Treaty 6 land

Pair arrested in Ponoka with several weapons, face 98 charges

Two men nabbed after early morning suspicious vehicle reported, stolen weapons found

UPDATE: 18-year-old Rimbey teen dies in collision

A portion of Highway 53 west of Rimbey is down to one lane while crews investigate

Ponoka County approves $70,000 to dredge Parkland Beach

Parkland Beach to see some dredging support from Ponoka County

Ponoka sets bylaw on cannabis retail, pushes for quick public consumption regulation

Town passes first reading on retail outlet bylaw, questions staff on need to separate public usage

U.S. congressman issues dire warning to Canada’s NAFTA team: time is running out

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is expected to resume talks with the U.S.

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

VIDEO: Inside an eerily empty mall in Canada

Only nine of 517 retail spaces are open for business as the grand opening postponed to next year

Tens of thousands without power following tornado in Ottawa region

Hydro Ottawa says more than 170,000 customers were without power early this morning

BALONEY METER: Do Liberal policies mean a typical family is $2,000 richer?

MPs took to Twitter to talk how ‘typical’ Canadian families have more money due to Liberal policies

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

Tilray Inc sees $10-billion in market cap go up in smoke

Tilray’s share price closed at $123 US on Friday, a decline from its intraday peak of nearly $300 US earlier in the week

Most Read