Suicide Awareness: Talking about Pain

The concept of ‘pain’ denotes some form of discomfort. Almost instinctively we associate it with physical pain, but manifestations of hurt are often invisible to the naked eye. For chronic pain sufferers, the effects of long-term pain can run deep and for some, can lead to such intense emotional suffering that suicidal ideation becomes [1]a risk factor. This group also experiences higher rates of comorbid depression[2]. With this in mind, we invite everyone to join the conversation regarding the impact of pain. Keeping an open dialogue as a society promotes awareness, understanding and compassion for those who may feel isolated and misunderstood as they manage their respective conditions. Simple gestures such as listening actively, maintaining eye contact, keeping open lines of communication and simply showing genuine regard can make all the difference in the world. As we acknowledge suicide awareness in September, please take a moment to reflect on how you can make a positive impact in someone’s life.

Catherine Funes, PsyD

Advisory Board , Mental Health Board Chair for Invisible Me Warriors

[1] Fishbain, RA. The association of chronic pain and suicide. Seminars in Clinical Neuropsychiatry, 30 Jun 1999, 4(3):221-227

[2] Cheatle, MD. Depression, Chronic Pain, and Suicide by Overdose: On the Edge. Pain Medicine, Volume 12, Issue suppl_2, 1 June 2011, Pages S43–S48,

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