Take a Minute to Reach out to Someone in Need
Taking the time to reach out to someone in need could make all the difference in someone’s life. Whether it’s a friend, colleague or family, the offer of support and a listening ear can help reduce distress.
What should I say?
There is no specific statement or complex formula. Checking in with someone and asking how they’re doing is a good start. Encourage them to tell their story, don’t rush them, but let them know you are there for them. Showing genuine concern, compassion and a willingness to listen without judgement is a good approach.
What if I make it worse?
Suicide is a difficult and scary topic. However, it is a myth that talking about it might plant a seed in someone’s head or encourage a vulnerable person to act. In fact, evidence suggests that reaching out is more likely to reduce distress than exacerbate it.
I can’t do it alone
You don’t have to. A large part of supporting someone in need is connecting them to resources that can help. Reaching out to a crisis line is a good start. You can talk through any concerns, discuss how best to reach out and learn about local resources that can help.
What’s available in British Columbia?
1800SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) is available 24/7 toll free across BC. Many of the Crisis Centres across BC also offer suicide prevention programs that strengthen local communities across the Province. For details, find your local centre contact information here: http://www.crisislines.bc.ca/our-members
What’s happening on World Suicide Prevention Day?
There are many events taking place across the Province to mark World Suicide Prevention Day. These include:
The Crisis Prevention, Intervention and Information Centre for Northern BC will be screening the award-winning documentary “The S Word” at the Canfor Theatre from 7pm on September 10th and will offer a safeTALK workshop on September 11th. safeTALK is a training that prepares anyone over the age of 15 to identify persons with thoughts of suicide and connect them to suicide first aid resources.
The Vancouver Island Crisis Society will again host their “Soles Remembering Souls” memorial gathering for survivors of suicide loss on September 9th from 4:00-6:30pm at Maffeo Sutton Park in Nanaimo.
The East Kootenay Crisis Line will host a candle light vigil on September 10 at 8pm at the Rotary park in Cranbrook. The public will be offered a chance to write a message on a prepared candle which will be placed on the steps of the arbour, followed by a few minutes of silence.
Vancouver Crisis Centre will be hosting community suicide prevention workshops by donation and reaching out through social media.
The Williams Lake & Area Crisis Line will have an information booth set up outside Save On Foods from 10am-2pm on Sept. 10th and will be reach out through the local press.
If you are concerned about suicide, either for yourself or someone you know, now is the time to reach out by calling 1800SUICIDE on 1-800-784-2433. For more resources on reaching out to someone in need, see:
International Association for Suicide Prevention (https://www.iasp.info/resources/Helping_Someone/)
World Health Organization (http://www.who.int/mental_health/suicide-prevention/en/).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org