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.
CMHA Oxford is available 24/7 through ReachOut to speak with one of our Crisis & Outreach Clinicians about suicidal thoughts or attempts, grief reactions, self-harm, among other mental health concerns. To speak with a Crisis & Outreach Clincian, calll 1-866-933-2023 or www.reachout247.ca, or come in to one of our Oxford County Walk-In Counselling locations.
CMHA Oxford also provides education to those wanting to learn more about how to create a suicide-safe community, and how to support their loved ones. This includes training through safeTALK and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), as well as groups including the upcoming Partnering with Families Education and Support Group and suicide bereavement groups that we provide or support in partnership.
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