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I’m reposting this from Huffington Post where a very good friend has an important piece up that I felt SOTR readers should see:

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. If you weren’t aware, worry not. If you have a pulse, you’re doing your part to celebrate. There was a time not too long ago where I wasn’t planning on being around for the occasion.

I am a suicide survivor.

I’d love to say that this honorific comes from an unfortunately spontaneous moment in my adolescence following an F in biology, but the incident in question happened nearly two years ago. Despite a happy family life and a rapidly growing career in media, I wanted out.

On December 9, 2010, I went to a public washroom, downed a container of pills and counted down what I thought were my final hours. Tomorrow was never supposed to come.

Though I didn’t become one of the 4,000 deaths by suicide in Canada that year, I came close. My overdose put me in critical care for several weeks, comatose, and I needed to be repeatedly resuscitated after four cardiac arrests. I was dead for 90 minutes.

This wasn’t a spur of the moment decision. It was planned — for a couple of weeks, in fact. In the time leading up to my attempt, I knew when and how I was going to do it. Regardless, I spent time with family, friends and co-workers, not to mention making national television and radio appearances. No one knew anything was wrong. No one was supposed to.

Surviving an attempt has its own difficulties. In addition to dealing with the emotional issues that led to the decision, I was forced to deceive those I cared about as to the reason for my hospitalization.

My decision to reveal this was rooted in my frustration at society’s stigma towards those with mental illness and the lack of understanding about suicide. Sure, there are risk factors for suicide attempts, but the urge to die and the willpower to act on it can fall upon anyone. Rich or poor, black or white, male or female, university educated or high school drop-out.


For me, a white, middle-class male with a university education, a loving family and a good job, most would assume suicide was the last thing on my mind. Had I decided to reveal my deathly desire to a loved one, I would have been hit with any number of clichés: “You have so much going for you,” “You have people who love you,” “The world is your oyster,” etc.

Read the rest here:  Andrew Lawton on HuffPo – Suicide Prevention Day