…if you are thinking about suicide
please go to the link and read this first
Teenagers, call Covenant House NineLine,
Suicide is not chosen; it happens
when pain exceeds
resources for coping with pain.
The Whale Foundation exists because a friend and fellow boatman took his life. The river community was shocked. Some knew Whale was struggling, but no one recognized the depth of his need.
Suicide claims the lives of 30,000 Americans each year by men and women of all ages, within every group of our population. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the World Bank/World Health Organization-sponsored, Global Burden of Disease study revealed suicide was the 9th leading cause of death among developed nations in 1990.
And studies from the U.S., Finland, Sweden and the U.K. all find that 90 percent of people who kill themselves have depression or another diagnosable mental and/or substance abuse disorder.
With such statistics, as with our friend Whale, detecting and treating mental disorders can be a life or death issue. In our community’s case, mix the river culture’s propensity to celebrate with alcohol with a guide who does not realize he or she is suffering from depression, and friends who are unaware of the link between suicide, mental illness, and substance abuse – and the result may be deadly.
We encourage you to take the time to educate yourself on this issue. Read more about the signs and symptoms of depression on this site. The knowledge you gain may save someone’s life downstream. And if you think you may be suffering from depression, or know someone who is, please, get help. As a member of the Grand Canyon river community, a Behavioral Health Professional is available to you through the Whale Foundation, and a phone call away.