7.27.2006

Suicide

I thought I might have a lot to say about this suicide of a 25-year-old Orthodox woman from St. Louis who lived in my neighborhood, but it turns out that I don't. (I didn't know her, but still.)

Let me just say this: Suicide is horrible, tragic, and entirely preventable. Very, very few cases of depression are untreatable. Most depression can be alleviated and sometimes even cured with the aid of good psychotherapy and good pharmaceuticals. People who commit suicide are people who did not receive the help that they needed when they needed it. And that is sad, since the resources are out there, and in many cases, would have been available to them.

I received the following information from two different shul lists, which might be useful to anyone living in the neighborhood. (As far as I know, these are open to the public, although some of them are directed more towards those who knew Sarah.)
Dear Friends,

As many of you know, the Upper West Side was shocked this week by the tragic suicide of a young member of our community. Tragic events often cause numerous and varied emotions to emerge. Talking through these feelings can be both comforting and healing.

In response to the many people who have asked for guidance and direction in this time of grief, the rabbinic leadership of The Jewish Center, Congregation Ohab Zedek and Yeshiva University have initiated the following programs:
  1. Safe Spaces: Beginning tomorrow night, Thursday July 27th from 8:30-10:00pm at The Jewish Center, 131 West 86th Street, you will have the opportunity to drop in and participate in small group discussions facilitated by mental health professionals. This is a safe space for you and your peers to express any thoughts or feelings you may be experiencing.

  2. An Evening of Conversation: On Monday, July 31st at 8:30pm at Congregation Ohab Zedek, 118 West 95th Street, Dr. David Pelcovitz will deliver a lecture on "Depression in Our Community: Recognizing, Reacting and Reaching Out to Friends." This will be followed by an open roundtable discussion.

  3. Safe Spaces: Continued. Tuesday, August 1st from 8:30-10:00pm at The Jewish Center, 131 West 86th Street, you will have the opportunity to drop in and participate in small group discussions facilitated by mental health professionals. This is a safe space for you and your peers to express any thoughts or feelings you may be experiencing.

Safe Spaces™ is a program developed and coordinated by the Social and Organizational Leadership Training group of Yeshiva University's Center for the Jewish Future.


I wish this kind of support and information were available all the time, not just after someone commits suicide.

No comments: