Victim services worker in the Central Okanagan would be happy "never to attend another suicide call" - InfoNews

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Victim services worker in the Central Okanagan would be happy "never to attend another suicide call"

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK
September 07, 2018 - 3:00 PM

KELOWNA - RCMP victim services in the Central Okanagan have so far this year offered support to 34 people in the wake of 14 police callouts for suicide deaths.

Twenty-nine people died by suicide in Kelowna in 2016, Central Okanagan Regional District community support manager Christine Walsh says in a press release, and the regional district wants you to remember them and all other victims of suicide on September 10, World Suicide Prevention Day.

That’s why Kelowna RCMP will light a candle at 8 p.m. in a second-floor window of the detachment office and why they are inviting others to do the same.

“Most will never know why their loved one died by suicide, many blaming themselves which only makes an already painful situation worse,” victim services worker Tracey Gosling says.

"I’ve assisted small children, parents, spouses and friends who have lost a loved one to suicide and it has been absolutely gut wrenching to witness such pain and bewilderment, especially on the faces of little ones,” she adds. "I would love nothing more than to never attend another suicide call, ever again.”

Glen Maddess, president of the Okanagan Suicide Awareness Society, says there are local resources for people in crisis.

“Our focus as an awareness society offering public presentations, website materials and a support group is to help reduce stigma and false assumptions about persons contemplating suicide as well as concurrently supporting those impacted while sharing a strong message of hope that the risk of suicide can be reduced,” he says.


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