Every 40 seconds, one more life is lost to suicide. That amounts to 800,000 people each year.
Such startling statistics can put into perspective how so many Canadians are affected by suicide, and why suicide prevention is at the forefront of so many minds.
Sept. 10 is known as World Suicide Prevention Day, which is meant to create international awareness about the issue and to spur more commitment for the prevention movement. The goal is to create a conversation about suicide.
Suicide is one of the top ten leading causes of death in Canada for people of all ages, and although statistics often consider a number of factors — age, gender, marital status or mental health, to name a few — there is no single determinant cause.
The World Health Organization is one of the organizations standing behind World Suicide Prevention Day, and they strongly advocate for an open and accessible approach to the topic.
Supports that help individuals cope with feelings of helplessness or pain are paramount to addressing some of the largest risk factors of suicide. Mental illness is also an area of focus for suicide prevention movements, as often the two are linked with depression being a leading factor correlating with suicide.
Moose Jaw’s local awareness group, Journey to Hope, works endlessly to provide to community with courses and training focused on suicide prevention.
They believe that awareness and communication will foster hope in the community and give someone the support they may need, in whatever way they may be struggling with suicide.
The group operates as a community chapter and a youth chapter, both of which were present when Mayor Fraser Tolmie signed the proclamation declaring Sept. 10 as Suicide Prevention Day here in Moose Jaw.
Both Journey to Hope and the organizers of World Suicide Prevention Day invite everyone to light a candle tonight at 8 p.m. and place it near a window, in remembrance of all those lost to suicide and all those affected.
Journey to Hope is also hosting Coffee and a Concert tonight at The Hive, at 7 p.m., with the musical talents of Emily Steinhauer and Kelly Lin and the warmth of Foreground Coffee. Everyone is welcome to stop in and join in the comfort of community.
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, please call the 24/7 Canada Suicide Prevention Service hotline at 1 (833) 456-4566 or text TALK to 686868.