According to the World Health Organization, someone around the globe is killed by suicide every 40 seconds, and more than double the number of people die by suicide than as a direct result of armed conflict. As reported by Statistics Canada, over 4000 Canadians die by suicide each year, over 3000 of them male. Suicide is the second leading cause of death of people between the ages 15 through 34; only accidents claim more of their lives. For people age 35 through 44, only cancer and accidents result in more deaths than suicide. An increase of heart disease in people between the ages of 45 and 54 results in suicide being their fourth leading cause of death. Although the percentage of deaths by suicide decreases with age because of an increase in disease, the number of deaths by suicide in Canada increases until age 55.
We, the organizers of this concert event, have had our lives touched by suicide. Sometimes the enormity of our grief comes crashing in like the loud crescendo of the ending of a movement in a musical composition. At other times, we feel lightheartedness - like the sound of a string quartet - and we experience the hope that it brings. Regardless of the emotions that music brings, (music) it has been instrumental in our journey of healing.
Therefore, we decided to bring the gift of music to the country on World Suicide Prevention Day. We wished to do this in order to raise awareness of the mysterious barricades that exist between mental illness and health, between utter darkness and a flicker of hope, between death and life. Our desire is to encourage public discourse about the prevalence of suicide and measures for suicide prevention, to encourage the formation of community by those impacted by suicide, and to raise funds for education and support of those at risk and those impacted by suicide.
We hope you will join us on our cross country musical journey of hope and awareness.
- Dianne Dunnigan
- David Goodfellow
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