This year’s World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10) is coming to a close. I have cycled in support of Cycle Around the World, in solidarity with many others who are showing support for the cause of suicide prevention. I have my candles lit, in memory of a dear friend and of a relative who died of suicide. Keeping busy today has somehow kept me from grieving personally, allowing me to save it for a quieter day.
This day is about being connected with one another in our grief and loss. It is a day to reach out to victims and survivors of suicide, so we can remind one another that we are not alone and that we can get through this.
It is about finding ways to stay connected with those who are struggling with depression, addiction or other illnesses. Today, we remember to really listen and pay attention to the people around us. We are called to educate ourselves on the warning signs of suicide and what we can do to help prevent suicide.
I rediscovered this song today, “How to Save a Life” by The Fray. For me, this day is about saving lives. We save ourselves from drowning in sorrow or guilt by opening up to and supporting one another. By educating ourselves about suicide prevention, we may end up saving a life from suicide.
After almost two years, today I was on my bike again. I took it out of storage, inflated the tires, and wiped away most of the dust. It was time to test my bike and my legs, to see how many kilometers I can add to the Cycle Around the Globe initiative on September 10.
I am joining this cycling event that is part of the World Suicide Prevention Day campaign on September 10 because I want to help spread awareness for suicide prevention. I am moved on a very personal level because September 10 is also the death anniversary of a dear friend of mine who committed suicide.
Today, nine days before the Cycle Around the Globe event, I am also inspired by friends and strangers who also plan to cycle for suicide prevention. Perhaps some of them are avid cyclists, with sleek marathon bikes and pledges of tens of kilometers or miles to cycle. Some are probably recreational cyclists who take their easy riders around the park a few times a week. Others might be more like me, taking out their long-forgotten bikes and slowly pushing their bodies, their legs again after what feels like ages.
I was able to cycle only 2.5 kilometers today. But I will keep cycling, keep practicing a little bit more in the coming days. And on September 10, whatever distance I am ultimately able to cycle, I am doing it in solidarity with these friends and strangers with whom I share the same cause, the same passion for advocating suicide awareness and prevention.
1. Cycle Around the World. WSPD aims to collectively cycle the circumference of the globe, which is 40,075 kilometers or 24,900 miles and to have people cycling on every continent.
2. Light a Candle. At 8pm on September 10, light a candle near a window in support of suicide prevention and awareness, survivors of suicide and for the memory of loved lost ones.
3. Be open to talking and learning about depression and suicide prevention. Promote it on your social networks. Know the signs and the ways you can reach out. Organize your family and friends to cycle, light candles and show support for suicide awareness and prevention. Donate to IASP or your preferred support group.
I have fifteen days to get my slightly rusted bicycle ready and to get myself in shape to cycle again after almost two cycling-free years (ouch!). I do have my candle ready. And I am getting ready to post this all over my social networks and to invite friends to join me in supporting World Suicide Prevention Day.