World Suicide Prevention Day: What Can You Do to Help Prevent Suicide
Trigger warning: This content contains information about suicide. This may not be reassuring and can be triggering to some individuals. We ask you to consider leaving this platform if you think the discussion could be traumatizing to you. For immediate help, please call the 24-7 Canada Suicide Prevention Service +1 (833) 456-4566
How are you?
“Let’s talk about you. How are you really feeling? Are you doing and feeling okay? Could you tell me more about why you are feeling okay or not feeling okay? How can I help? I am here, ready to listen.”
Suicide is a public health and safety issue. It can affect us all, but it is preventable. Asking someone without judgement how they are really feeling is the first step to help save a life. Fear, shame, and guilt lose their power when one person starts the conversation and genuinely asks someone, “How are you?”
What is World Suicide Prevention Day?
World Suicide Prevention Day is a day to remember people who died because of suicide. It is also a day to reminisce about individuals who experienced suicide attempts. Together, people sympathize with families and friends who are grieving a loss of a loved one.
What are the warning signs of suicide?
The Mental Health Commission of Canada says that any significant change in behaviour or mood is a warning sign that someone may be thinking about suicide. Here are some examples of signs of fleeting thoughts of suicide:
- Risk taking or spontaneous behavior that is out of the ordinary
- Conversation or statements that indicate hopelessness, being a burden, or feelings of worthlessness
- Previous suicide attempt
- Depression followed by sudden cheerfulness and contentment, which may mean the person has made a decision to finalize a suicide plan
- Self-harming or reaching a point where self-harm is no longer an effective coping mechanism for them
Suicide prevention resources:
Here are six suicide prevention resources and other recommended tools to help avert suicide and to create hope:
- The Canada Suicide Prevention Service Help Line – If you are thinking about suicide or worried about someone who may be thinking of suicide, call the Canada Suicide Prevention Service. They are available 24/7 to talk to you.
- Canadian Mental Health Association’s Distress Line – Call (780) 482-4357 if you feel distressed, in crisis, or need someone to talk to right away. They will openly listen to you and support you emotionally.
- Alberta Health Services’ Children’s Mental Health Crisis Line – For on-the-spot crisis support for children, youth (aged 5-17 years old), and their care providers, call (780) 407-1000
- Hope for Wellness - This is a 24/7 crisis helpline open to all Indigenous peoples across Canada. Call 1-855-242-3310.
- The Family Centre Counselling – The Family Centre can help you understand your situation better. We can walk you through ways to lift you from a difficult situation. Visit our website for more details. Note that this is non-urgent mental health support. For urgent mental health help, contact the options above.
If it is an immediate danger (for example, a person is unconscious), call 911 immediately.
Recommended readings, free classes, and videos to help understand and prevent suicide:
- Warning Signs of Suicide – My Health Alberta lays out the different signs of suicide for different ages. This includes children and teens, adults, and older adults. Check this out to know the signals of suicide.
- Living Works Start – This is a free one-hour online classes that teaches you skills to know if someone is thinking about suicide and how to connect them to resources. This is available to everyone aged 13 years old and older.
- Understanding Positive Psychology – A science of what makes life worth living. This video explains the three different key elements to a happier, meaningful life
- How Being Grateful Improves Your Health – Gratitude has the power to heal, energize and change our lives. This blog explains the benefits of gratitude to your physical and mental health.
- Supports for Managing Anxiety and Depression – The Family Centre offers free supports for coping with and moving out of anxiety and depression. No matter what you are going through, please know that you are not alone. Consider contacting us. We can help.