Rachel is not alone in her guilt, according to Joy Pavelich, communications leader at Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).
“When you think about the fact that we lose over 500 Albertans per year to suicide, that’s more than motor vehicle accidents and homicides combined,” Pavelich explains, adding men commit suicide at a ratio of 4 to 1 compared to women.
“It’s a significant loss… and the ripple effects of suicide are very far reaching.”
That’s why Pavelich – who lost her 20-year-old son Eric to suicide on August 4, 2013 – is passionate about helping others through the upcoming Survivors of Suicide Loss Day.
“I started this job shortly after he died, and I don’t know how I could have survived without finding a place to channel my grief and I feel like, I don’t want to use the word meaning, but now there is some meaning to this loss in helping others.”
The event, now in its 14th year, is designed to help those left behind by suicide and will feature a panel discussion and speeches from four people who have lost someone.