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 hope, help 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 Ottawa offers post-suicide support for persons who have been affected by the loss of a person who has died by suicide, and training in suicide intervention skills (ASIST) and suicide awareness (safeTALK). However, amid COVID-19, in place of ASIST and safeTALK, CMHA Ottawa is offering an interim solution for suicide awareness training: the Living Works START program online. The course is 60 minutes, self directed and entirely online. LivingWorks Start teaches trainees to recognize when someone is thinking about suicide and connect them to help and support. Living Works START
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 timeline is.
- Be non-judgmental and empathetic.
- 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.
For more information or to learn more about the suicide prevention or positive mental health, visit CASP or contact CMHA Ottawa at 613-737-7791.