On September 10th, people will gather in communities across Canada and over 50 countries around the world to show their support to recognize World Suicide Prevention Day. Since 2003, WSPD has publically brought the need for suicide awareness and a greater commitment to suicide prevention to the world stage. This year’s theme, as chosen by the International Association for Suicide Prevention, is Connect, Communicate, Care. On World Suicide Prevention Day, we are reminded that by connecting, communicating, and caring, each one of us can save lives.
It is estimated that each day in Canada, 11 people will end their life and 210 will attempt to. Suicide occurs across all age, economic, social and ethnic boundaries. The pain that leads individuals to take their lives is unimaginable. Their deaths leave family and friends bereft and their communities impacted. Many of these suicides are preventable with increased knowledge of the warning signs or invitations for help and an increased comfort in asking the question “Are you thinking about suicide?”
Although this is only one day to heighten the need for this discussion, the conversation needs to continue 365 days of the year.
How Can You Help?
On September 10th, the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention and the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council invite you to BE ONE in your community and BE ONE with the world, but we encourage you to BE ONE anytime of the year:
- BE ONE who wears a ribbon. BE ONE of 100,000 Canadians to wear the new international suicide awareness ribbon. The beautiful orange and yellow ribbon gives a voice to promoting informed communities that create dialogue around supporting those at risk, and promoting resiliency and wellness.
- BE ONE who encourages training workshops in their workplace, sporting organization or faith community. Know what to do; know how to help.
- ONE VOICE. One voice can make a difference. If you are struggling, your voice can make the difference in your life. Speak up and let people you trust and care know that you are struggling. Build a support team of caring individuals and professionals, just like we do when we are struggling with physical health. Think of them as your team. If you are on the supporting team, you can use your voice to advocate for your loved one and help them through difficult times. We can all use our voices to look out for others who may be struggling and encourage them to share their story in their own way at their own pace. Those who have been affected by suicide, both suicide loss and suicide attempt survivors have much to teach us and are a necessary to advance suicide prevention
- BE ONE who reaches out to someone who is in emotional pain, just as you would do with someone who is facing physical challenges. Ask them how they are doing, bring them a tea, and offer to go for a walk, bring them a dinner. The simplest of gestures can make some of the largest gestures.
- BE ONE to make a difference.
"I started to harm myself and even attempted to take my life. I hit rock bottom. My Lutherwood counsellor was different – she listened. Once I realized that she truly cared, I began to trust and open up to her.”