TORONTO – Each year on September 10, organizations and individuals from 52 countries around the world come together to raise awareness of suicide and suicide prevention on World Suicide Prevention Day, an initiative of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP).
“Crisis Services Canada (CSC) is proud to participate in World Suicide Prevention Day,” said Stephanie MacKendrick, Chief Executive Officer of CSC. “It’s a day when we collectively bring attention to suicide prevention, share information and statistics, discuss prevention strategies and work to remove the stigma around talking about mental health as we strive to lessen the tragic impacts of suicide.”
“Preventing suicide requires the efforts of many,” IASP said in a statement about World Suicide Prevention Day. “It takes family, friends, co-workers, community members, educators, religious leaders, healthcare professionals, political officials and governments.”
Every day, approximately 11 people in Canada will die by suicide, almost 4000 a year. It is the second most common cause of death for those between the ages of 15 and 34. For every suicide, there is an average of 25 attempts, and for each suicide approximately 135 people are profoundly impacted.
CSC has played a critical role in Canada’s suicide prevention efforts as the founding organization of the Canada Suicide Prevention Service (CSPS). CSPS will continue to provide essential support to people with thoughts of suicide, who are bereaved by suicide and people who are concerned about someone who may be at risk of suicide. There is still much work to do, and collaboration has to occur at all levels.
Individuals as well as organizations can work to prevent suicide. CSC encourages open dialogue about mental health issues to reduce the stigma that can discourage people from seeking help as they fear they will be perceived as attention-seeking, oversensitive or weak.
“Suicide is the result of a myriad of complex reasons and it can affect anyone,” said Ms. MacKendrick. “By opening conversations about mental health with our friends, family and colleagues, help seeking can be normalized and caring for our mental health will become as accessible and routine as seeking help with physical health concerns. Everyone can be part of this transformation.”
On September 10th, CSC encourages every organization and individual to do three things: First, to share messages of support on their social media platforms; second to light a candle to honour those affected by suicide, and third to access educational resources to learn how to effectively check in on friends and family they may have a concern about. (link: https://www.crisisservicescanada.ca/en/someone-you-know-thinking-about-suicide/)
“Even something as simple as sincerely sharing the message that help is available and there are people who genuinely care can go a long way to making someone in crisis feel less isolated and less judged,” said Ms. MacKendrick.
If you or someone you know has concerns related to suicide, highly trained, compassionate CSPS responders are there to listen.
Phone support is available 24/7, toll-free at 1-833-456-4566, or by text message from 4PM to 12AM Eastern (standard carrier fees based on your phone contract may apply).
For more information contact:
Manager, Marketing and External Relations
Crisis Services Canada