TRIGGER WARNING: The following blog post references suicide and self-harm.
Last week, I successfully completed suicide prevention training. I am fortunate I did.
Unfortunately, people within the BIPOC community are experiencing higher rates of suicide, suicide attempts, and self-harm. Men account for around 75% of suicides in the country and around 50 men per week take their own lives, these statistics include white men despite racial privilege.
Men are more likely to experience substance abuse, and higher school dropout and unemployment rates compared to women. Women are more likely than men to receive post-secondary education. These factors put males at risk for suicide. Men also suffer from mental health illnesses and experience loneliness far more than women. It is easier for women to express feelings of loneliness and receive support for such a feeling, while this is not always the case for men.
As ideas of what it means to be a man are constantly reconstructed, men have been discouraged from speaking about their feelings, expressing hurt, and crying and we are slowly realizing the disastrous effects of this. As a counselor, I focus on intervention and bringing awareness to my communities – hope and change.
As a faith-based social worker, I believe that we are all God’s creations, made in his image and that he has placed within us, many gifts and talents that should be shared with the world. I believe in hope, and I believe every day is a gift. Tough times do not last, t̶o̶u̶g̶h̶ ̶p̶e̶o̶p̶l̶e̶ ̶d̶o̶ ̶ God’s love does. Therefore, we cannot allow the devil to win, with the thoughts he plants in our minds. Having strong mental health means knowing who God is and who you are.
One of my favorite African proverbs comes from my people, the Igbos of Nigeria and it goes like this, Eche di ime meaning, Tomorrow is pregnant. Taking it a step further we ask, who knows what it will deliver? As Africans, we know how delicate and interesting life can be. We have seen poor men become rich, people without access to basic education go onto university degrees, sick people become strong and healthy and so we know this proverb to be true.
Only God knows tomorrow.
“The epic story of tomorrow can’t be written if it ends today.”
If you are seeking a new beginning and you need therapy, guidance, and life coaching, speak to me today about starting a New Chapter in your life.
If you are thinking about suicide or you have a concern about a friend or a family member, you can call the Canada Suicide Prevention Service at 1-833-456-4566. If immediate care is required, contact 911 or visit your closest emergency department.