World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) is on September 10th, 2020. The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention theme this year is Working together to Prevent Suicide. This message marks the importance of communities everywhere coming together to recognize the impact of suicide and to strive to prevent it. Even small acts can make a huge difference in people’s lives. WSPD reminds us that our teamwork and solidarity make us stronger together.
When people share stories of their resilience and how they survived a suicidal crises, it can save lives. For that reason, it is important to emphasize stories of resilience and survival when disseminating information about suicide. Sharing messages of hope can ensure that future suicides are prevented.
We encourage agencies/organizations and communities to engage in outreach on WSPD to raise awareness for suicide prevention and life promotion, and to honour the lives that have been impacted by suicide. ‘When we take an active role in helping others and doing good deeds for those impacted most, we foster a sense of community. We can talk with our loved ones and ask, who is the most vulnerable right now and how can we help? We can also consider how we can do our part in the community by acting responsibly to help mitigate the COVID-19 spread. And within our own family unit we can exercise random acts of kindness between one another’ (Mental Health Support through the COVID-19 pandemic, MB Blue Cross).
The COVID19 pandemic has not only affected our physical health, but it has also created significant stressors for our emotional wellbeing. Thus managing your psychological well-being during this time is important. Take time to include self-care by taking care of your basic needs, engage in healthy coping strategies, such as exercise, healthy nourishment, being compassionate with ourselves, staying connected with family and friends, and ensure you are getting enough rest.
We also give thanks to the ongoing guidance from Elders, youth, families, and communities in our shared wise practice stories and our original teacher, Mother Earth in our collective practice and vision.
“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.” – Chief Seattle
The Suicide Prevention Implementation Network (SPIN)
The Suicide Prevention Implementation Network (SPIN) has become a champion for the Centre for Suicide Prevention’s Buddy Up campaign, which will be launched during World Suicide Prevention week as well. This was created for men by men, encouraging them to have real conversations with their buddies and to support them if they are struggling with thoughts of suicide. Please watch for the SPIN and Buddy Up messages on the electronic billboards on 18th Street in Brandon during the month of September, as well as posters and stickers around the city.
It is also encouraged to check SPIN’s website where you can find local educational opportunities, suicide prevention toolkits, upcoming events, and request resources such as power cards with crisis numbers on them to provide to staff or clientele.
If you are struggling yourself or are concerned about someone else’s suicidal thoughts
Do not hesitate to reach out for help. You can contact the Manitoba Suicide Prevention and Support Line at 1-877-435-7170, a crisis line available 24 hours per day. A trained crisis worker will listen to you and direct you to the resources you need. Locally you can contact Westman Crisis Services at 204-725-4411 or 1-888-379-7699. In an emergency call 911 or contact a local hospital.