Approximately 11 Canadians will end their lives by suicide today. Each year suicide claims the lives of more than 3,500 people in Canada. Here in B.C. we lose an average of 501 people a year due to suicide. The effects of suicide can be devastating to our communities and our families. Suicide prevention is a shared responsibility – we all have the potential to make a difference and save a life.
“Connecting Canada” is the theme for this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10. The campaign highlights that being connected with oneself, with others, and with a community is critical to hopefulness and wellbeing. World Suicide Prevention day is a time to remember that we are all connected to each other, through shared experiences and hope.
“Everyone can benefit from the help and support of their family, friends, and community during difficult times,” said Jenny Green, Community Health Facilitator with Interior Health. “Many suicides are preventable. Suicide prevention begins with our willingness to recognize the signs of suicide and talk openly about it. Once you have a feeling that someone might be thinking about suicide, it is important to ask them as directly, clearly, and as soon as possible.”
Green stresses that a meaningful connection with another person can be very powerful. “Sometimes just a few genuine words of concern and active listening can create an open discussion about suicide and encourage an at risk person to seek help. You can make a big difference.”
If someone you know is feeling suicidal, help is available. The Interior Crisis Line Network provides Interior Health residents with around-the-clock access to telephone support. The toll-free number is
1-888-353-CARE (2273). Assistance is also available through local mental health and substance use services, family physicians, emergency services and through web-based supports such as Crisis Centre (http://www.crisiscentre.bc.ca).
In the month of September events will take place across Canada and around the world to promote suicide awareness and prevention. Attend an event near you to help shine a light on this important issue and send a message of hope and connection to those in need.
For more information on World Suicide Prevention Day:
Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention: www.suicideprevention.ca
Mental Health Commission of Canada: http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/issues/suicide-prevention/world-suicide-prevention-day
Interior Health is committed to promoting healthy lifestyles and providing a wide range of quality health-care services to more than 742,000 people living across B.C.’s vast interior. For more information, visit www.interiorhealth.ca, follow us on Twitter @Interior_Health, or like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/interiorhealth.ca.