World Suicide Prevention Day highlights strategies to prevent loss

CMHA Niagara 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 help, hope 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. 

Suicide Warning SignsThere are several services offered right here in Niagara to help:

  • ACCESS Line provides telephone support for adult residents of Niagara facing addiction and mental health concerns. Callers get immediate access to supportive, trained responders who provide information, support, connection to local services, and follow ups.
  • Urgent Support Services: Mental health counsellors are available to assist individuals (16+ years of age) in meeting immediate needs for problem solving, goal setting, and linking to appropriate community supports.
  • Pathstone Crisis Services is a mobile crisis intervention service providing immediate telephone counselling and, if necessary, on-site crisis intervention in the home, school, or other community location. It operates 7 days a week, 24 hours a day for children and youth up to the age of 18 and their families.
  • COAST (Crisis Outreach and Support Team) provides services to individuals in the Niagara Region who are in crisis and have a mental health concern. Mental Health Professionals work as a team in partnership with police officers who are specially trained in mental health, where ongoing telephone support and/or referrals to appropriate follow up services may be recommended. This program is a partnership between Distress Centre Niagara, CMHA Niagara, Niagara Health System, and Niagara Regional Police Services.
  • Distress Centre of Niagara is a 24-hour, free and confidential telephone crisis intervention support service available to anyone in need in Niagara.
  • Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Team offers a “First Response” of Mental Health Workers riding with police responding to 9-1-1 calls related to mental health

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 time line is. 
  • Be non-judgemental 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 suicide prevention or positive mental health, contact CMHA Niagara at info@cmhaniagara.ca or 905-641-5222.