Suicide Prevention: Take a Minute, Change a Life
September 10th is the date to celebrate World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) every year. WSPD is held to raise awareness and help prevent suicide. This year asks that we “take a minute, change a life.”
It is estimated that each day in Canada, 11 people end their life and 210 make a suicide attempt. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that every year, more than 800,000 people die of suicide, and up to 25 times that many attempt suicide. They all have a story. Some are well-connected people in the community, others may be quite isolated. But regardless of the circumstances, we all have an important role to play in supporting those among us who are vulnerable.
Robyn Hurtubise and Joanne Ledoux-Moshonas, Co-Chairs of the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Champlain East, stress how important a minute can be in effecting change in someone’s life. “Sometimes it’s all that is needed,” they say. “People in distress need someone to take notice and offer help. When things don’t seem right, take a minute to see if you can change a life.”
As well, this year marks the 15th World Suicide Prevention Day that started in 2003 as an initiative of the International Association for Suicide Prevention and was endorsed by the World Health Organization. The International Association for Suicide Prevention has many resources available to you as well as activities to help raise awareness and help prevent suicide.
To find out how you can get involved in WSPD activities, visit the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP) website at http://www.suicideprevention.ca/ where a link to the WSPD toolkit is provided.
For local information about suicide prevention, visit http://www.reachoutnow.ca/, or contact the Canadian Mental Health Association at 613-933-5845 or 1 800 493-8271. You can also contact the Mental Health Crisis Line at 1 866 996-0991. The EOHU can help as well. Call 613-933-1375 or 1 800 267-7120, or visit www.EOHU.ca.
The Suicide Prevention Coalition of Champlain East is a partnership made up of 23 organizations from the City of Cornwall, the United Counties of Prescott and Russell, the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, and Akwesasne. A list of the participating organizations can be found at www.reachoutnow.ca.