Yvonne Saunders said even though she’s been talking to people about grief for 14 years, the past week has been shocking to her.
She’s been hanging up posters for an event she’s putting on called ‘Sympathy for Suicide,’ and she said people have come up to her with an “overwhelmingly positive response.”
The event is meant for everyone, she said, in hopes to open discussion, reduce stigma and provide encouragement. A representative from the Vancouver Island Crisis Line will be present, as well as speaker Geir Larsen. Larsen has shared his struggles with depression through talks for years, and hopes he will be able to give audience members hope and encouragement.
Saunders said she’s unsure exactly how the event will go — she wants to keep the floor open for anyone who might want to share a story or thought.
The event will take place at St. Stephen’s United Church at 150 Village Way in Qualicum Beach in the big hall on the main floor. The free event is on Feb. 24 at 7 p.m.
If you need support, call the Vancouver Island Crisis line toll-free at 1-888-494-3888. More information is available at vicrisis.ca.