Today in Canada approximately 11 people will end their lives by suicide while roughly 210 others will attempt suicide. It’s estimated that the lives of up to ten grieving “Survivors” are profoundly affected by suicide, meaning that 77-110 people in Canada per day will become newly bereaved. Based on data from the Canadian Community Health Survey, 14.7% of Canadians have thought about suicide and 3.5% have attempted it in their lifetime. They come from all ages, socio-economic status and walks of life, they are men and women facing a variety of challenges.
Sadly, despite its widespread impact, receives the issue of suicide little attention which is why activities such as Quebec’s Suicide Prevention Week, from January 31 to February 6, 2016, are so important.
At the community and national levels, there are a number of steps that can be taken to decrease the suicide risk. From making treatments available for individuals struggling with a mental or addictive disorder to following up with those who have attempted to take their own life and providing better mental health promotion.
At a personal level, it is important to know that only a small number of suicides happen without warning. Many people who attempt the act are not entirely intent on dying but want their pain to end. However, all threats of self-harm should be taken seriously.
Personally and as a community, we should educate ourselves on being able to identify the signs and learn about the organizations to call in times of crisis. We can also ask if someone is ok, listen without being judgmental, and let them know you care. Since isolation increases the risk of suicide, just being there for someone can be life-saving.
On Friday, February 12, Suicide Prevention will be the focus of a special free Health Matters program at the CLSC in Cowansville, 397 de la Riviere, from 10 am to noon. The public is invited to join us as speakers from Prevention Suicide de la Haute-Yamaska provide information about suicide and how we can be how we can help those around us.
For more information on Townshippers’ Association and our activities, catch our columns in the Brome County News, visit us on Twitter @Townshippers, Facebook, and our website Townshippers.org. Connect with Townshippers’ offices in Sherbrooke at 100 – 257 Queen St. 819-566-5717, toll-free: 1-866-566-5717 or Lac-Brome at 3-584 Knowlton Rd, 450-242-4421, toll-free: 1-877-242-4421.
Publication: About Townshippers column, Brome County News, Tuesday, Jan 26, 2016
Photo Credit: Courtesy SplitShire
Photo Caption: With more than 3,700 deaths per year and as many as 20 times that amount attempting to kill themselves annually, the national suicide rate is alarmingly high. Showing care and concern for someone who may be thinking about suicide can make all the difference, find out more at the free Health Matters on Feb 12 at the Cowansville CLSC.