What is Suicide Prevention Awareness Week?
The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) in partnership with the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) is leading a campaign to bring awareness about mental health promotion and suicide prevention. We have gathered a large network of community partners to plan and organize the second annual Suicide Prevention Awareness Week from September 10 to 16, 2017 (click here for last year’s highlights). The Suicide Prevention Awareness Week planning group includes representatives from all sectors including Workplace, Health Services, Community, School Boards, and Post-Secondary Institutions.
Why are we Focusing on Suicide Prevention?
According to the World Health Organization, someone around the globe dies by suicide every 40 seconds1. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among Canadians under 25 years-old2. In 2011, more than 40 Windsor-Essex County (WEC) residents died by suicide and there was a nine year high for self-harm emergency department visits in 20153. The highest rate of suicides in WEC was in those aged 45 to 64, with men being more likely to die by suicide (75%) than women3. This is still happening despite the fact that suicide is preventable. For more information, read the Mental Health Profile Report: Windsor-Essex County by clicking here.
The key message for our campaign is “You Are Not Alone”. Connecting and openly communicating with those who have had suicidal thoughts or those who have lost loved ones to suicide is essential in the effort towards suicide prevention. Since many people are unable to express and discuss their feelings due to the fear of being stigmatized, we hope that this message will help those who are struggling with suicidal thoughts or have lost a loved one to suicide to know that there is help available to support them in their journey towards healthier and more meaningful lives.
This year, the goal is to raise awareness for suicide prevention, improve education, and build skills in the community to reduce incidents of self-harm. We hope to increase public knowledge about suicide warning signs and where to access relevant resources and services related to prevention, intervention, and bereavement.
What is Happening During the Week?
CMHA, WECHU, and other community partners will be hosting various events and activities throughout the week to promote suicide awareness and prevention (e.g., webinars, training workshops, talks, wearing yellow, etc.). To kick-off Suicide Prevention Awareness Week on September 10 (World Suicide Prevention Day), we will be hosting a community walk to support those who struggle with suicidal ideation and other mental health issues – this may include a family member, a friend, or yourself. Join us to show support for those who are affected. Register here.
Also, check out our events calendar to see what’s happening around Windsor-Essex County. You can also download our resource toolkit to promote Suicide Prevention Awareness at your workplace, home, and in your community.
Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook at @CMHAWECB and @TheWECHU
Our hashtags are #SuicidePrevention2017 #YouAreNotAlone