The public is invited to participate in World Suicide Prevention Day events on Sept. 10. (Image submitted)

Williams Lake encouraged to mark World Suicide Prevention Day, Sept. 10

Public invited to walk, run or bike with a friend, light a candle

World Suicide Prevention Day will be marked differently in Williams Lake on Thursday, Sept. 10.

The Canadian Mental Health Association-Cariboo Chilcotin Branch, Suicide and Sudden Death Committee and Mental Health Advisory Committee are approaching the event with COVID-19 precautions in mind.

They have chosen to approach the event in a way that people can participate from their own spaces.

Please walk, run, bike with a friend and talk about suicide – then upload a photo of you doing this activity to become part of our photo collage in support of suicide prevention.

On Sept 10 at 8 p.m. light a candle near a window to reflect on suicide and its prevention and the impact it may have on family, friends, your community and the world – put a reminder in your phone for 7:45 p.m. on Thursday so you will be ready to light your candle, take a photo and download it to us to become part of our photo collage.

Pull out your phone right now and please make a short video of yourself or someone else, discuss suicide and the stigma of mental health, the signs, your experiences, how suicide impacts more than just you, any available resources, thoughts on prevention etc. and forward it to and CMHA will run clips for the next couple of weeks to share with the general public.

Please don’t think of all the reasons why you can’t make time to do these simple things……it could make a difference in someone’s life.

Read more:Cariboo-Prince George MP named Special Advisor on Mental Health and Wellness

World Suicide Prevention Day 2020 facts and figures

Over 800,000 people die by suicide annually, representing one person every 40 seconds

Suicide is the 15th leading cause of death globally, account for 1.4 per cent of all deaths

The global suicide rate is 11.4 per 100 000 population — 15.0/100 000 for males and 8.0/100 000 for females

Suicide is the leading cause of death in people aged 15-24 in many European countries

Globally suicide rates among this age group are higher in males than females

Self-harm largely occurs among older adolescents, and globally is the second leading cause of death for older adolescent girls

In 2012, 76 per cent of global suicide occurred in low- and middle-income countries, 39 per cent of which occurred in the South-East Asia region

In 25 countries (within WHO member states) suicide is currently still criminalized

In an additional 20 countries suicide attempters may be punished with jail sentences, according to Sharia law

Suicide is the result of a convergence of risk factors including but not limited to genetic, psychological, social and cultural risk factors, sometimes combined with experiences of trauma and loss

Depression is the most common psychiatric disorder in people who die by suicide

Fifty per cent of individuals in high income countries who die by suicide have major depressive disorder at their time of death

For every one suicide 25 people make a suicide attempt

135 people are affected by each suicide death

This equates to 108 million people bereaved by suicide worldwide every year

Relatives and close friends of people who die by suicide are a high-risk group for suicide, due to the psychological trauma of a suicide loss and potential shared familial and environmental risk, suicide contagion through the process of social modelling, and the burden of stigma associated with this loss.

Effective suicide prevention strategies need to incorporate public health policy strategies and health care strategies, incorporating measure with the strongest evidence of efficacy such as: restriction of access to lethal means; treatment of depression; ensuring chain of care; and school-based universal prevention.

For anyone in crisis, the Interior Crisis line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-888-353-2273.

Read more: Better suicide prevention needed for B.C. youth, group says

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