“Suicide does not end the chances of life getting worse.
Suicide eliminates the possibility of it ever getting better.”
The Elephants Story
Download the document here: The_Biggest_Elephant_In_The_Room
Human beings throughout history have taken their own lives, or more simply put, have died from suicide. It is a phenomenon that persists to this day in all societies and within those societies there continue to be strongly held opinions that are deeply rooted regarding suicide. However, these opinions nor the impact of these opinions are debated openly across and within communities – they are just understood “to be” – and because of this unspoken attitude that engulfs this phenomenon, the taboo of suicide in society has become so powerful that the silence that surrounds it at all levels only further serves to strengthen that taboo and cement the stigma associated with suicide.
This stigma serves no purpose to anyone, least of all a person who may be thinking of taking their own life and is unable to tell anybody due to their own inner feelings of guilt as well as their concerns as to how such an admittance would be reacted to by others. So suicide remains the “elephant in the room” that everybody ignores though it is blatantly there.
Forward For Life and Common Unity understand that most of us have strong, often deep-seated feelings and opinions about suicide, after all we are only human and suicide for many is an area that challenges the very concept of human "being" – some think people have a right to die, others, that life should be valued and suicide is wrong, others see it as a selfish act, a cowardly act, others as a brave thing to do – but there is one opinion we believe everyone shares and that is one that states that if there are steps we can take to reduce the number of suicides and suicide attempts in society, then we should look to adopt these steps and start building Suicide Safer communities for a brighter tomorrow.
So a number of approaches have been brought together by Forward For Life in partnership with Common Unity under the name of SOS. We feel that through community action, learning, campaigning, active use of social media, lobbying and influence we will all eventually not only see the elephant and openly admit to seeing it, but also all know how to get it out of the room!