Preventing suicide: We all have the potential to save a life - InfoNews

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Preventing suicide: We all have the potential to save a life

September 03, 2013 - 10:51 AM

Each year suicide claims the lives of more than 3,500 people in Canada. According to the 2010 Coroner’s Report, B.C. lost an average of 495 people a year due to suicide over the years 2001 to 2010. The effects of suicide can be devastating to our communities and our families.

“Suicide can shatter the family and friends of a loved one,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “It can also affect anyone, anywhere of any age, gender and culture. Our government has a variety of programs offered through the health authorities for those seeking help, ranging from crisis lines, to education and training programs, to immediate response teams and I encourage those in need to reach out.”

September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day. This year, the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP) has chosen the theme “Hope and Resiliency at Home and Work.” The campaign is intended to give families and employees the tools they need to thrive and be safer by strengthening connections, promoting conversations about mental wellness, and knowing how we can help protect and care for each other during times of crisis.

“Many suicides are preventable,” said Jenny Turco, Community Health Facilitator with Interior Health. “Suicide prevention is a shared responsibility – we all have the potential to make a difference and save a life.”

If someone you know is feeling suicidal, it is important to know that help is available. The Interior Crisis Line Network is part of the 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433) network and provides Interior Health residents with around-the-clock access to telephone support when they need assistance managing personal concerns. The toll-free number is 1-888-353-CARE (2273). Other services are available through local mental health and substance use services, family physicians, and emergency services. Online support through websites such as or is also available.

“Everyone can benefit from the help and support of their family, friends, and community during difficult times,” added Turco. “Suicide prevention begins with our willingness to recognize the signs of suicide and talk openly about it. Once you have a feeling that someone might be thinking about suicide, it is important to ask them as directly, clearly, and as soon as possible.”

This September events will take place across Canada and around the world to promote suicide awareness and prevention. Attend an event near you to learn more about suicide and the important role you and your community can play in saving lives.   ing an t y ns of suicide and   

World Suicide Prevention Day events:

Williams Lake – Staying Alive: Battle for Life
Remembrance ceremony, concert, and awareness event
When: September 25 beginning at 3:30 p.m.
Where: Begins at the Ringwood Theatre at Boitano Park and concludes at the Lake City Secondary Carson Campus for the concert
More Info: Contact Bettina Schoen at 250-305-4420

West Kootenay – Hope and Resiliency at Home and Work
Kite flying ceremony and BBQ
When: September 10 at 12:30 p.m.
Where: Castlegar Kinsmen Park – 910 2nd Street
More Info: Contact Karen Miller at 250-364-0274

Merritt – Stigma: A Barrier to Suicide Prevention
Panel discussion, video presentation, information kiosks, Aboriginal drummers, candle vigil, and Soles to Remember Souls shoe donation
When: September 10 at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Nicola Valley Institute of Technology
More Info: Contact Mary Ramsey at 250-378-3401

Kamloops – Bringing Suicide Out of the Shadows
Kite flying memorial, BBQ, and wellness activities
When: September 10 at 12:00
Where: Riverside Park
More Info: Contact Jolene Lindsey at 250-377-6500

Kelowna – Launch of a Facebook Support Network for Survivors of Suicide
SOLOS Okanagan (Surviving Our Loved One's Suicide Okanagan) is a Facebook support network for survivors of suicide. To learn more, please go to For more information, contact Jen Paquette at 250-864-1496.

For additional information about suicide prevention and World Suicide Prevention Day, visit the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention website -

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