Workshop raises awareness about suicide prevention

The Canadian Mental Health Association in Williams Lake is hosting a free workshop on suicide awareness and prevention Thursday, Sept. 4.

The Crisis Line Association of BC and its member agencies support provincial and national efforts to prevent suicide.

This includes representatives from the Canadian Mental Health Association in Williams Lake who are hosting a free workshop on suicide awareness and prevention this Thursday, Sept. 4.

Suicide is an issue that is hard to talk about and, and for many, harder to understand, say event organizers.

Every year more than 800,000 people die from suicide; roughly one death every 40 seconds. In 2012, it is estimated that for each completed suicide there were 27 others who made suicide attempts.

Each year on September 10, the International Association for Suicide Prevention

(IASP) ( organizes World Suicide Prevention Day, and this year’s theme is Suicide Prevention: One World Connected.

The reasons for suicide can be complex, but we know that psychological, social, biological, cultural and environmental factors can all be involved.

Tackling such an issue may seem daunting, but the evidence suggests that connecting people in need with community and resources can be an invaluable support.

Studies have shown that social isolation can increase the risk of suicide and, conversely, that having strong human bonds can be protective against it. Crisis Lines play an indispensible role in supporting those that have become disconnected from others and offering them support can be a life-saving act.

Every 2.7 minutes a person connects with a crisis line worker in B.C., either through their local crisis line, 1800SUICIDE or 310Mental Health Support.

Many suffer with suicidal ideation or intent, and trained volunteers and staff respond 24-7 with emotional support, and when needed, intervention. BC’s dedicated 1800SUICIDE toll-free number alone responded to 6,791 calls for help in 2013.

“For many people, calling a Crisis Line and hearing a Crisis Line worker’s voice on the other end is like grabbing a life line in the ocean when the ship has capsized and the waves have become too overwhelming, said B.C. crisis line president, Janice Breck. “There is a sense of relief knowing that someone cares and that there is hope.”

There is hope and help. If you are feeling suicidal and need to talk to someone, please call 1-800-784-7433 (1-800-SUICDE) or your local Crisis Line number 1-888-353-2273.

In Williams Lake, Canadian Mental Health Association will be holding a free workshop on Suicide Awareness and Prevention for anyone interested in learning more. The workshop will be on Sept. 4, from 10 a.m. to noon at the  Central Cariboo Arts & Culture Society (former Fire Hall).

Only by being one world connected, communicating and learning how to help those who are in a place of despair, can we prevent suicide, say organizers who hope people will join them and be a part of the conversation.


For more information, contact Janice Breck at 250-398-8220 ext. 2040 or Bettina Egert at 250-398-8220 ext. 2020.



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