Volunteers with a number of area suicide awareness organizations came together to hold two suicide awareness vigils Saturday evening as part of National Survivors of Suicide Loss Day.
Organizations taking part in or supporting either event were Carbon County division of HALOS (Hope After a Loved One’s Suicide), POWER (Program of Wellness Empowerment and Recovery Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services), The Compassionate Friends – Carbon County Chapter, Carbon County Suicide Awareness Coalition, The Link, and Schuylkill County Suicide Prevention Task Force.
National Survivors of Suicide Day was designated by the United States Congress as a day when the friends and family of those who have died by suicide can join together for healing and support. This day always falls on the Saturday before American Thanksgiving.
In 1999, Senator Harry Reid introduced a resolution to the United States Senate which led to the creation of National Survivors of Suicide Day. Reid is a survivor of his father’s suicide. As citizens of other countries began observing the day in their local communities, it was renamed as International Survivors of Suicide Day.
Every year, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention sponsors International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, a program that unites survivors of suicide loss across the world. At events in hundreds of cities spanning 6 continents, survivors of suicide loss gather together to remember their loved ones and offer each other support. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention produces a program shown at these events that features personal stories and advice from other survivors and psychiatric professionals. These events help survivors cope with the tragedy of losing someone to suicide.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention every 15 minutes someone in the United States dies by suicide.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). Website is SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.
Click HERE to view a story in the Times News newspaper about the Lehighton vigil held at the Lehighton Amphitheater.
Click HERE to view a story in the Republic Herald newspaper about the Pottsville vigil held at Yuengling Park.
TamaquaArea.com photos from Lehighton vigil: