CMHA recognizes World Suicide Prevention Day

Posted September 10, 2018 by Site Manager

The CMHA joins the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP) in inviting all individuals and communities to find a way to recognize and support World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) on September 10th. It can be as simple as sending a message to those who are in despair, those who are grieving, and those who are supporting someone who is struggling with life’s challenges. By spreading the word that help, hope and healing are possible, we can work together to prevent suicide.

CASP estimates that each day in Canada, 10 people end their life and 200 make a suicide attempt. Suicide occurs across all age, economic, social, and ethnic boundaries.

Talking about suicide can provide relief and being a listener is the best intervention anyone can give. Here are a few ways you can help:

  • Take all threats or attempts seriously
  • Be aware and learn warning signs of suicide
  • Be direct and ask if the person is thinking of suicide. If the answer is yes, ask if the person has a plan and what the time line is
  • Be non-judgmental and empathic
  • Do not minimize the feelings expressed by the person
  • Do not be sworn to secrecy…seek out the support of appropriate professionals
  • Ask if there is anything you can do

Training is provided in safeTALK to teach community members to recognize persons with thoughts of suicide and connect them to suicide first aid resources; and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) for those who want to feel more comfortable, confident and competent in helping to prevent the immediate risk of suicide.

CMHA Oxford, in partnership with Community Employment Services with the support of Oxford County and the Suicide Prevention Oxford Leadership Coalition, have brought the BeSafe App to Oxford County.  Be Safe — a free mobile app created by young people for young people — connects young people with local mental health and addiction resources in their community. The app also guides users through the process of creating their own personal safety plan for when they are in crisis and offers other tools that help young people reach out safely. A paper pocket guide version is available for users to carry with them for “back up” access to their personal safety plan. The Be Safe app can be downloaded now free of charge. It is available for Android on Google Play, for iOS from the Apple store, or by visiting www.besafeapp.ca.

CMHA Oxford’s Crisis & Outreach Team provides support to individuals experiencing distress as a result of suicidal thoughts or attempts, self-harm, and grief reactions.  They can be reached 24/7 at 1-866-933-2023 or www.reachout247.ca.