September is recognized as Suicide Prevention Awareness month in Canada. According to the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, every day 200 people will attempt to die by suicide, and ten will succeed.
Suicide is currently ranked in Canada as the ninth leading cause of death, but it is the second leading cause of death amongst Canadians aged 10-29.
Although we have made significant advances with Bell Let’s Talk and similar campaigns, suicide is still not widely understood amongst society. Factors leading to suicide include mental illness, traumatic stress, substance abuse, loss, hopelessness, and chronic illness.
Suicide is preventable. This month, we are encouraging you to educate yourself; learn the warning signs, and how to help someone in crisis.
Warning signs of suicide
Some of the warning signs of suicidal ideation include:
- Talking/joking about suicide and/or death
- Seeking out methods
- No hope for the future (expressed hopelessness)
- Getting affairs in order
- Saying goodbye
How you can help
If someone you know is exhibiting these signs, you can help by:
- listening and showing concern for their wellbeing
- talking with them and reassuring them that they’re not alone
- letting them know you care
- connecting them with a crisis hotline or counsellor
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, the following resources can be used:
-Canadian Suicide Prevention Service 24-hour hotline: 833-456-4566
-SMS Suicide hotline (4 P.M.-12 A.M.): text 45645
-24-hour Kids Help Phone (Canadians aged 5-29): Call 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free) or text CONNECT to 686868
-Hope for Wellness Helpline: Call 1-855-242-3310 (toll-free)
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger; call 9-1-1 right away.