The theme of this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) is ‘Preventing Suicide: Reaching Out and Saving Lives’. The event, held each year on September 10th, is co-sponsored by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the World Health Organization. This year, the theme encourages us all to consider the role that offering support may play in combating suicide.
Whether it’s reaching out to someone that may be at risk, or connecting them to resources and suicide prevention services, the act of showing care and concern to someone who may be vulnerable to suicide can be a game-changer. Isolation increases the risk of suicide, and, conversely, having strong social connections is protective against it, so being there for someone who has become disconnected can be life-saving.
Crisis Lines around BC play a vital role in this network of support, not just for people in need, but for the friends and relatives that are concerned and don’t know where to turn. CLABC’s toll-free 1800SUICIDE and 310Mental Health Support networks, make sure they connect quickly to one of these centres that can provide the emotional support and links to professional services they need.
11 Crisis Centres across the Province form this life-saving network, and many will be holding events in their local communities, to raise awareness, to remember those we have lost, and to support those that still struggle. These events include:
The Vancouver Island Crisis Society will be offering 5 training workshops in various communities on Vancouver Island. The workshops are called “How to Avoid the 10 most common errors of suicide intervention”, and will be delivered in Duncan (Sept 3), Courtenay (Sept 8), Nanaimo (Sept 10), Port Alberni (Sept 15), and Victoria (Sept 17). See the www.vicrisis.ca for details.
- Fraser Health Crisis Line will participate in Valley View Funeral Home’s "Helping build a suicide-safe community in Surrey".
- Vancouver Crisis Centre will hold a safeTALK workshop on September 28th that prepares individuals to identify persons with thoughts of suicide and connect them to suicide first aid resources. See www.crisiscentre.bc.ca for details.
- Williams Lake and Area Crisis Line will mark World Suicide Prevention Day with a gathering in Boitanio Park at 12:00-1:00 p.m. They will have an opening prayer, drumming, a moment of silence, music and an information sharing session on Suicide Prevention.
- KUU-US Crisis Line in Port Alberni will hold an open suicide support talking circle at their office on September 10th (12-2 pm).
- Crisis Centre for Northern BC will hold Suicide Talk and Safe Talk workshops on October 6 at the University of Northern BC to mark World Suicide Prevention Day. “Hope; Resiliency” bracelets are also on sale to promote awareness/prevention of suicide and to support Crisis Centre services.
- The East Kootenay Crisis Line/CMHA and Safe Communities, with the support of Columbia Basin Trust, is hosting a 2nd Annual World Suicide Awareness Day event from 3 to 7 pm on September 10th in Rotary Park. Music, food vendors, guest speakers, crafts and activities all aim at reducing stigma and increasing awareness.
- The West Kootenay Boundary Regional Crisis Line will hold a kite flying ceremony at Lakeside Park in Nelson on September 10th (12-1 pm).
The kite is the symbol for WSPD - representing the things we strive to stay connected to: hope, community, those we have lost, and those who struggle with thoughts of suicide.
If you are concerned about suicide, either for yourself or someone you know, now is the time to reach out by calling 1-800-784-2433. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer and supporting people in need in your community, contact CLABC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Crisis Line Association of BC (CLABC) is the provincial association representing member crisis lines from across BC. The organization, formed in 1998, is dedicated to ensuring that every person in BC has access to the needed emotional support and critical services that crisis lines provide. CLABC developed two provincial networks: 1800SUICIDE and 310Mental Health Support, enhancing immediate access to 24-hour crisis line services for anyone at anytime from anywhere in BC.
For more information see http://www.crisislines.bc.ca or contact Jason Chare, CLABC Provincial Network Manager, at email@example.com