It’s a sobering statistic from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Looking for something to do this weekend? Find what you need in our Weekend Entertainment Guide newsletter.
Equally sobering is the fact that it might be someone you know — a family member, a friend, a neighbor or co-worker.
The reasons for escaping this world will vary — from genetic predisposition to mental health issues.
But regardless of why the decision was made, the impact on those left behind will be tremendous.
There will be feelings of grief, guilt, anger and utter sadness.
There will be questions that might go unanswered.
And there is a sense of abandonment.
As time moves forward, the pain feels more distant. But it always will be there, said Amanda Witmer, bereavement care specialist with Hospice of Washington County.
“Survivors learn that they never truly get over a death,” she noted.
But dealing with the loss is sometimes made easier by knowing you are not alone —that others have experienced a loss because of suicide and are struggling with similar feelings and concerns.
That’s the purpose of the 14th annual International Survivors of Suicide Day on Saturday, Nov. 17, Witmer explained.
“The event is a healing conference, designed to bring people together who have lost a loved one to suicide,” she said. “Survivors are provided both information and support.”
This year, for the first time, Hospice of Washington County will be hosting the observance — one of five sites in Maryland to be participating.
Witmer said Hospice offers a Survivors of Suicide support group and many of its members expressed an interest in being a part of International SOS Day.
“I took this request to our director of bereavement services, Eileen Stanzione, who agreed that hosting this event would help us to reach out to those in the community who could benefit from meeting other survivors,” she explained. “It also would help us to spread the word that Hospice of Washington County is a resource for those in need of support.”
Witmer said the event will be held at Hospice’s office on Northern Avenue in Hagerstown from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 17 and is open to residents from the Tri-state area.
The event will include the viewing of a 90-minute DVD, which covers topics pertinent to survivors, and small group discussions, allowing for survivors to meet one another and provide mutual support.
“We also will offer a small remembrance ceremony for those interested in participating,” Witmer said. “Educational materials and professional follow-up support also will be offered to anyone who would be interested.”