Each day in the U.S. approximately 100 people take their own lives, leaving behind loved ones to struggle with the loss, grief and all of those questions that begin with "Why?" Worldwide, approximately 2,700 people take their own lives each day. Too often survivors of suicide loss believe the death of their loved one is somehow shameful, or that they or their family are to blame. But research shows that more than 90 percent of people who die by suicide have an underlying, although not always diagnosed, psychiatric illness at the time of their death, most often depression.

The holiday season can be particularly difficult for survivors. To help, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's International Survivors of Suicide Day will be held on Nov. 23 in more than 300 cities around the world, including here in Bakersfield. The program will be at the Consumer Family Learning Center, located at 5121 Stockdale Highway. Pre-registration is from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. The program starts at 10 a.m. For more information, call 868-1552.

Ellen J. Eggert