Another hockey player dies by suicide. Wade Belak, who played parts of 14 seasons in the NHL and had retired on March 8, was found in a downtown hotel in Toronto yesterday He was 35. Wade was born in Saskatoon and currently had homes in both the United States and Canada. He was the third NHL player to die in less than four months. He left behind a wife and two children.
In mid-May, Derek Boogaard, 28, was found dead in his Minneapolis apartment from a drug overdose, and Rick Rypien was found in his Alberta home earlier this month.
Am I the only person who notices all of the suicides happening? Is it just me? Is this a new trend? What is going on? According to WHO (World Health Organization) suicides have increased 60% over the last 40 years. It makes me wonder if it has to do with the fast pace that we live in now and all of the pressures and expectations on us. It would be even more difficult for people who live in the spotlight because the spotlight now shines 24 hours a day and is tweeted instantly all over the world.
Of course, there’s no doubt that drugs and alcohol have always played a role and continue to do so. When people live in altered states it changes the brain and perceptions. The drugs now a days are extremely addicting and scary. Marijuana is 10 times more potent than it was in the sixties!
Our local radio station also reported today on the suicides happening right in our back yard, in the northern community of Pikangikum.“Gordon Peters says 5 youths have committed suicide over the past 44-days.
Four young women, aged 15 to 19, and a 26-year-old man have also taken their own lives.
Peters blames a lack of housing and infrastructure for the worsening mental-health of the community.”
This has had an effect on me, greatly, as my mother was born in the community, so I have history there. I also work with people from the community and have come to know many of them. September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Awareness Day. There are big goings on in Ottawa with big name singers etc. I wanted to do something here so I am putting an advertisement in our local paper and am doing a video presentation to as many northern communities as are able through the Northern Chiefs office here in our town. I am going to tell my story, which is all I can do and hopefully open up discussions and ideas.
For more information on World Suicide Prevention Day, you can check out the WHO website as well as the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP). Also check out Scott Chisholm’s Facebook page “The Collateral Damage Project”. He has all of the updates on there.