Suicide is a subject many don’t like to talk about, especially those who are thinking about committing the act. People refer to those who successfully commit suicide as victims but the true victims are those left behind.
Friends and family members shy away from conversations about the subject or the person who committed the act. They believe that not mentioning the names of deceased will somehow stop the pain the family is feeling and bringing up names will make the family relive the experience.
The experience is relived and the pain felt regardless of whether the names and the act are mentioned or not. The unanswered questions never leave your mind and they never get answered. Acting as if it never happened won’t change the fact that they are gone. The only thing to do is push on and continue to live your own life in the moment and hopefully use your own experiences to help others.
Because there is help, there is hope. The 10th annual Walk in Memory, Walk for Hope was held on Sept. 10 at the Mesquite Recreation Center because the real victims want to make sure individuals struggling with thoughts of suicide and the friends and families doing their best to support them can be connected to resources and services that can make a difference.
The concerted efforts of the Nevada Coalition for Suicide Prevention, the Office of Suicide Prevention and the many local task forces and coalitions across the state along with local community members hold events such as the “Walk in Memory, Walk for Hope” with the desire to help make Nevada a healthier and safer place to live.
Community members, family and friends of former Fire Chief Derek Hughes came out to remember their dear friend and brother and to help others become aware that there is help available. Although they are aware of the services available to them, they have not sought any themselves but they do want others who need them to know they exist.
The mother, aunt, sisters and friends of 14-year-old McKenzie Marie Cauley feel that remembering her and raising awareness are so important they came out to walk even though their loss is recent and their pain still very fresh. Cauley committed suicide on Aug. 1 after two prior attempts according to a family member. Cauly had sought help, but it wasn’t enough. Cauley has two younger sisters who, along with her mother, designed t-shirts for their family to wear, with elephants because she loved elephants.
All community members attended because they have been touched by the tragedy of suicide at least once and once is more than enough for anybody. Unfortunately, sometimes that is not the case. Genny Reese has had six people in her life who have committed suicide beginning with her father 35 years ago. She didn’t seek help but each and every time her boss, boyfriend, best friend’s husband, made her a victim once again they took a bit more of her emotional sanity and stability along with them until she finally had no choice.
One thing that all these people have in common besides the tragedy they have all faced is that they know that intervention before the act is committed and, if it does occur, support and counseling for the true victims is important. They all want you to know that it is not a hopeless situation and resources are out there.
For more information on the resources available locally contact the Mesquite Behavioral Health Center 702-346-4696.