The mythic tale of Pandora contains a helpful perspective on hope. According to ancient Greece, Pandora was the very first woman. Because of some wrong-doing, the gods had given her a jar that contained every sort of evil. Hope, also, was in the jar. When Pandora opened her jar, all the evils escaped out into the world. However, hope remained in the jar just below the rim. So, why was hope in the jar to begin with, and, why didn’t it escape along with the evils? Perhaps the best explanation is that hope is a two-edged sword. It is a necessary ingredient for life. Yet … if hope is crushed … it can be very damaging. Having hope and then losing what is hoped for can be a contributor to suicide. Suicidal individuals often have crushed hope which needs compassion.
ARCSP began out of lack. People who lost loved ones to suicide were not able to find resources to address their concerns. Support groups for after suicide survivors were not available. Community understanding of suicide was negative. The original dream, therefore, was to have a brick-and-mortar place where resources could be housed and support groups could meet. It was to have signage so that Fairbankians could locate needed help in the midst of a crisis. Having accomplished both goals of having a welcoming place that houses resources and support groups, we have moved on to develop some creative approaches to suicide prevention. We view ourselves as uniquely adding to the other suicide prevention efforts in our community. Therefore, ARCSP will deliver unique - but time-tested materials - to the suicide prevention efforts of our region.