All together: Communities can help prevent suicide
The numbers are disturbing. In Canada suicide claims the lives of more than 3,500 people each year. In 2010, over 450 deaths in B.C. were attributed to suicide. Hospitalization due to self harming and suicidal behavioursis even more common. Between 2010-2011, there were over 2,800 self-inflicted injuries that required hospitalization in B.C.; some involved children as young as 10 years old.
Not only are the emotional impacts of suicide widespread affecting millions of Canadians, including family, friends and communities, the financial impact is also significant. In 2010-2011 the direct healthcare costs associated with suicide and suicide attempts in B.C. were over 20 million dollars.
“There are many things communities can do to prevent suicide. Recognizing the signs of suicide and creating suicide-safer communities are key to helping people at risk,” said Jenny Turco, Community Health Facilitator with Interior Health.
On September 10, World Suicide Prevention Day, events will take place across Canada and around the world to promote suicide awareness and prevention. This year the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP) has chosen the theme “All Together – Promoting Resilience in Families and Communities” to mark World Suicide Prevention Day.
The theme “All Together” is both an invitation and a challenge for every segment of society to become involved and work together to support suicide prevention at home, in the community and in the workplace by encouraging open conversation. CASP has resources available online to support suicide prevention at www.suicideprevention.ca
“It’s important communities address the issue openly so that people at risk feel comfortable speaking up and seeking help from someone they can trust,” added Turco.
The launch of the Interior Crisis Line Network this past year means all Interior Health residents now have around-the-clock access to telephone support when they need assistance managing personal concerns. The toll free number is 1-888-353-CARE (2273). CARE stands for:
C-Confidential telephone-based crisis line services
A-Accessible across the Southern Interior 24/7/365
R-Resources for you, in your community
E-Empowering support for all concerns
Help is also available for those who are feeling suicidal through local Mental Health and Substance Use Services, family physicians and hospitals. Many communities also offer suicide survivor support groups. Websites such as http://www.crisiscentre.bc.caor http://youthinbc.com/are available.
Check out the World Suicide Prevention Day events happening in your community:
West Kootenay – Launch of Resource Website for Suicide Prevention, Intervention and Postvention
When: September 10