Early intervention – seeing the signs and listening to a person considering suicide – in the majority of cases, can and does make people reconsider their life situation if handled sensitively.
Sometimes, it’s not until you have lost a friend or loved one to suicide that we understand and appreciate that suicide is preventable, so I’m asking all surfers to do three things: know the signs, find the words, and finally, reach out.
Suicide is still a taboo subject in many cultures and is stigmatized to the point where a depressed person does still not feel comfortable to reach out for help from their friends.
While we live in an increasingly digital world of ‘friends”, we rarely have real time to sit down and connect – face-to-face – on a heart level, with other humans; family, friends, other surfers and perhaps, most importantly, strangers– a friend we are yet to know.
Firstly, I would call on the WSL and the Commissioners to introduce a qualified Counsellor or non-denominational Chaplain to be at hand for help with confidential support 24/7 and provide all surfers with the tools to help others and themselves.
Secondly, I would call on all surfers to investigate the resources available online in order to equip them to help those in need and to have the help-line telephone numbers on hand, which are available in most countries at no cost.
There seems no better time to write this. Today is World Suicide Prevention Day and its theme is to connect, communicate, and care.
Just this week, two high-profile surfing figures have ended their life by suicide. Unnecessarily.
Read more here: The Inertia