April 19 2019 By Tom Gervasio
I am writing this blog today with a heavy, heavy heart. The Suicide rate in Pennsylvania has gone up 34 percent since 1999. 34 Percent! What is going on in today's society that is so different than 25 or 30 years ago? Do the shifts in our society have a hand in the dramatic increase? Media outlet addictions, selfies, political wars, religious wars, more openly gay and lesbian teenagers, rise in crime rates, rise in divorce rates, and the list goes on and on as to how our society has changed. Are people overwhelmed with these changes- whether it being themselves who are the change or themselves who cannot accept the change? So many 'what ifs' but only one fact- there is a 30 percent increase in people taking their own lives.
Military veterans are killing themselves at a tragic rate of at least 20 suicides a day. Some would say to tell others to reach out if they feel suicidal to help prevent them from committing the irreversible act. Others would say that people who deal with depression and suicidal ideation are not in the mind set to reach out for help so the responsibility is on the friends and family to reach out to them- that sometimes the seemingly strongest and happiest people are dealing with inner demons on a daily basis. If that is the case, and I believe it is, then what can be done to save those lives? I wish I knew the answer.
In just the month of January, I was called for 3 suicides in Chester County alone, one of which will live with me forever. My local police department called me at about 18:30 from the scene of a home where a 15 year old boy had shot himself in his basement with his family upstairs. The coroner was currently there and I was asked to be on standby for when they leave so I was cleared to come and perform the remediation. Speaking with the family after a tragedy is always tough, I’d say the toughest part of my job, however, this one was different. I was looking into the eyes of a man who just lost his son a couple hours prior and saw him trying to stay strong until we were all gone. I have a son who is 11 months old as of this week, and he will go to the high school that this boy was attending. We worked until about only midnight but I don’t think I slept a wink that night.
This I am sure upset you to read, however this is what we do on a daily basis. We work with families who are going through such horrific times, and our hearts are always 100 percent with the family to help ease even just an ounce of their stress and pain. Something as simple as us calling in the claim to their home owner's insurance for the family relieves them of one less task to take on when dealing with such an unexpected heartbreak. Bio-One is always here to help. Arriving when wanted, working professionally and proficiently, expressing compassion and a shoulder to cry on if needed, and following up afterwards, we, Bio-One, make a difference. That day we made a small difference to a family who fell victim to Suicide, and that small difference is the reason we do what we do- Help First, Business Second.
Tom Gervasio l Owner l Bio-One
64 E Uwchlan Ave #208
Exton PA 19341