World Suicide Prevention Day

World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) is an opportunity to educate others by raising awareness of suicide and to promote action that will reduce the number of suicides and suicide attempts globally. The first WSPD was launched in Stockholm on September 2003 as an initiative of International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) as a way of focusing attention on Suicide and confirming the message: Suicides Are Preventable.

Suicide prevention is a global challenge and ranks among the top 20 causes of death globally. Between 3500-4000 Canadians die by suicide each year. However, the stigma surrounding suicide continues to be a barrier and can prevent people considering suicide from seeking help. 

This year the ISAP’s focus is Creating Hope Through Action. Preventing suicide is often possible and YOU are a key player in its prevention. By learning the warning signs, you can make a difference to someone who is suffering and by taking time to reach out to someone whether a family member, friend, colleague or even a stranger could change the course of another’s life. 

The major warning signs of suicide spell: IS PATH WARM:
I - Ideation: thinking about suicide
S - Substance use: problems with drugs or alcohol
P - Purposelessness: feeling like there is no purpose in life or reason for living
A - Anxiety: feeling intense anxiety or feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope
T - Trapped: feeling trapped or feeling like there is no way out of a situation
H - Hopelessness or Helplessness: feeling no hope for the future, feeling like things will never get better
W - Withdrawal: avoiding family, friends, or activities
A - Anger: feeling unreasonable anger
R - Recklessness: engaging in risky or harmful activities normally avoided M - Mood change: a significant change in mood

Each and every suicide is devastating and has a profound impact on those around them. By educating ourselves and others, this will reduce the stigma around suicide. We can all create hope through action. The Elk Valley Suicide Task Force (EVSTF) will be holding a World Suicide Prevention Day Event in the evening of September 10 at Rotary Park. This year the Keynote Speaker Adam Campbell. Adam is a well-known mountain athlete and will be sharing his journey of dealing with mental illness, grief and moving forward. There will also be information on suicide prevention to help educate others in the warning signs, the effects and how you can get help.