At our upcoming Annual General Meeting, we will reflect on the hope we have offered to clients over the past year. With Sept 10th marking the International Day for Suicide Awareness/Prevention and all the media attention given to Robin Williams’s tragic death, I thought this was a fitting topic for this month’s blog. In the aftermath of suicide, many people are left wondering what could lead someone to take their own life? How can some of us be faced with life’s difficulties and find a way to go on while others seem to fall deeper into what has been described as a black hole. I remember my supervisor in my graduate training teaching me about the three “H’s” of suicide. It is when someone is feeling hapless, helpless and hopeless that he or she is likely in the midst of deep despair and most at risk for ending his life. But as one client shared he had read, “suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem”. Most of the individuals I have seen just don’t want to live “like this” anymore and have trouble seeing a way out of the pain. That is why instilling hope is such an important part of the work we do at the Family Counselling Centre.
Hope can come in many different forms. It can include the feeling that you are not alone. It can be felt in the warm, unconditional acceptance of another who seems to understand and more importantly validate where you are coming from. It can come from questions and daily practices that help you to remember what is good in this world and what you want to live for. It can come in reflections of the past of what you have endured and help you move from seeing yourself as a victim to seeing yourself as victorious. Hope reminds us that we are not broken but rather a wounded whole with the incredible capacity to heal and grow despite the challenges and barriers we may face. Hope reminds us of our strength, of our potential and of our dreams.
Whether in individual or couple support, in a group setting or during an outreach meeting, the messages we send to our clients can aptly be summed up in the words of Winnie the Pooh; “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think and loved more than you know”. By helping clients tap into their inner resources, their ability to bounce back, and the support that is available to them we strive to give each of our clients this precious gift of hope.
For local Suicide Prevention information, click here.
To learn about “Your Life Counts” an incredible program that our own PAR facilitator Dave Brown is involved with click here.
You will find further examples of hope here.
Although we are not a crisis agency, you can learn more about how our weekly walk-in counselling clinic can help you here.
Nicole September 2014