Sadly there remains a stigma against mental illness that our society and culture has not overcome. While society continues to struggle about acceptance that a growing number of people have mental illness, people are seriously hurting in silence. It is this silence aspect that is elusive and difficult to grasp in order to help those who are hurting. One such group struggling to cope to overwhelming degrees are those who go on to commit suicide. If you know someone who appears severely depressed days without number, having expressed a helpless, hopeless outlook, has discontinued former ritualistic patterns of activity, displays a disruption in eating and sleeping and has expressed a desire to die or no longer any desire to live or lack of purpose to the point that those close to him or her would be better off without them, then this should be a huge wakeup call that person needs immediate intervention. 

   The difficulty exists as there is a large segment of the population that internally feel the way described above, but outwardly do not display any of these warning signs. For many their internal struggle remains a secret, hidden from those who are closest to them and interact with them on a regular basis. I can think of three such cases in the past three or four years that readily come to mind. In each of these individuals they possessed great talent and potential for the future if their family and friends were interviewed. Yet, in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye (or so it seems) they took their life and those who remain  in this world who loved them so are left hurting and devastated as well as puzzled to answer the ‘why’? While there remain more questions than answers for surviving family, there is also hope to be conveyed to those hurting in silence. This is Sunrise aftercare, sunrise@sfdcares.com.  

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