Suicide Matters. Let’s Talk it Gets Better.

Amy Block

Tuesday, September 2 2014

Sometimes people who suffer from depression lose the will to live. It’s time we begin to explore ways in which we, as a Gabriola community, can help others get through those times when loneliness, destitution and helplessness overwhelm. 

Research, as quoted by Bonnie Bernard, a specialist in resiliency, tells us clearly that “Resilience is a process of connectedness of linking to people, to interests, and ultimately to life itself.” So how can we as a community do better at helping each other make and maintain connectedness and the will to live?

A member of our community recently committed suicide. A group of people gathered together at the Commons and shared grief and emotional responses to the tragedy. 

Involved in the group discussion, I was amazed at the profundity of the sharing exchange.

One participant stated, “When I’m feeling down and depressed I don’t like asking for help. I know I need to get better at that. There are others who are there for me, and that’s exactly what I need. I know, ideally, that I’m not alone and yet, I’m ashamed. I don’t want to be needy and I don’t want to ‘dump’ on others.” 

Someone else said, “I find it is really simple. One time someone listened to me. He didn’t try to ‘fix’ my situation. All he said was, “I’m so sorry.” That was so healing for me. I was just heard. That was important.”

Margaret Wheatley, a writer and consultant in Organizational Behaviour says, “Relationships are all there is. Everything in the universe only exists because it is in relationship to everything else. Nothing exists in isolation. We have to stop pretending we are individuals that can go it alone.”

Bonnie Benard writes that we “can walk around trouble if there is some place to walk to and someone to walk with.”

There are many of us here on Gabriola who understand the need for connectedness. We are everywhere…your next door neighbours, friends and family. We are here in the village and in the library. We’re in your friendship circles, members of your family, and participants in community organizations. There can always be someone who will listen. 

Let’s Talk - it gets better.

In the meantime, if you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, here are some important numbers to note:

911 - First responders in a crisis situation.

• PHC Circle of Care: 250-247-7311 - Low or no-cost counselling for those in need. Email

•Your own family doctor.

•Walk-In Clinic at Brooks Landing Mall: Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 6:15 p.m.

• Island Health Mental Health and Addictions Clinic, Nanaimo: 250-739-5710.

• Vancouver Island Crisis Line: 1-888-494-3888 - Telephone support, information and referrals 24 hrs. 7 days a week.

• Online Crisis Chat for all ages: 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

• Youth Crisis Line: 1-800-668-6868.

• Help Line for Children: 250-310-1234.