Post by Maureen Pollard, MSW, RSW

It’s World Suicide Prevention Day and I Hope You Stay

It’s World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) and in keeping with the theme of working together to prevent suicide, I have worked with a team of amazing artists to create a song called I Hope You Stay.

As a Registered Social Worker, I have spent the last 10 years in private practice walking alongside people experiencing many types of grief, including the traumatic grief of suicide loss. My conversations with survivors of suicide loss have contributed to a passion for suicide prevention.

Survivors of suicide loss experience a full range of the usual emotions associated with grief, along with a hefty dose of guilt, remorse, shame and stigma. It is evident that suicide doesn’t end pain, it just transfers deep distress to survivors who then carry the weight of suicide loss the rest of their days.

Following an event I hosted for International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day in 2019, I was thinking about some people I know who live in great pain and frequently contemplate suicide. I wrote some lyrics and a melody, and brought them to Murray Foster at the Toronto Songwriting School. Murray used his versatile talents to help make it a great song, then provided the instrumentation for the track. Rob Quartly, founder of Grief Stories, connected me with Ellen Torrie, who recorded a beautiful vocal track. When Murray sent along the final mix, I created a video version, and Rob created a lyrics video.

I Hope You Stay offers possibilities for those who love someone who is thinking about suicide and don’t know what to say. It can be hard to have open, direct conversations about suicide, but it can be the one thing that turns a person back toward life and helps prevent a lifetime of heartbreak for family and friends.

Above all, this song is my message of hope and healing for those struggling with thoughts of suicide. I know it’s hard. Really hard. Still, I Hope You Stay.