Talking about suicide isn’t easy — the most important conversations rarely are — but as the Association québécoise de prévention du suicide (AQPS) reminds us, talking can save lives.
This week, the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) congratulates AQPS on their 30th annual suicide prevention event. The campaign calls on everyone, from individuals to government bodies, to help put an end to suicide in Quebec and across the country. If you haven’t already done so, we encourage you to join the more than 50,000 people who’ve signed the AQPS suicide prevention declaration.
But above and beyond signing your name, we urge you to raise your voice. The howtotalkaboutsuide.com website that AQPS curates is an invaluable resource to help guide your conversations. Whether you are having distressing thoughts, worried about a friend or co-worker, or covering suicide in the media, the site offers a wealth of resources to help you safely broach the topic.
You can also be part of this important dialogue without face-to-face conversations. The MHCC’s #sharehope campaign is a moderated platform where anyone can publicly share a message of hope to spread encouragement to someone who may be vulnerable to suicide. Using the #sharehope and #TalkingAboutSuicide hashtags not only brings attention to suicide prevention efforts, it also helps to reduce stigma.
Today, eleven lives will be lost to suicide in Canada alone. Tomorrow doesn’t have to be that way. Together, we can prevent suicide, but first we must be willing to talk about it. Congratulations to AQPS for 30 annual weeks devoted to suicide prevention. As pioneers in the field, we count ourselves lucky to have been able to learn from the path you’ve been forging for three decades.
President and CEO, Mental Health Commission of Canada
If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide, please contact your nearest distress centre. If it is an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to your local emergency department.
Mental Health Commission of Canada
613-683-3748 / firstname.lastname@example.org