Today, September 10, 2018, is World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD). This year’s theme for WSPD is Working Together to Prevent Suicide and is an opportunity to spread the message that help, hope, and healing are possible (Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention).
Everyone can play a role in helping to prevent suicide. It can take only a few minutes to check in with friends, family members, acquaintances, co-workers or anyone who may need support.
Together, by increasing awareness of how to speak about suicide, learning about available resources and reducing risk factors, all of us become a part of the solution. Let’s all take a minute to change a life and create resilient and supportive communities to help prevent suicide (see 2017 Message from the Minister of Health).
A strong support network is a protective factor for suicide. Connectedness to family, friends and one’s community reduces the likelihood that a person will consider suicide. Having a safe and supportive space to talk about suicidal thoughts or distressing feelings, particularly with a professional, can also reduce the risk.
At AMDSB, we are WORKING TOGETHER!
At AMDSB, we plan to work together with each other and with our broader community to prevent suicide. Suicide prevention is focused on positive mental health and well-being, wellness promotion, stigma reduction, and fostering positive inclusive environments and social supports. Cultivating hope, meaning, purpose and belonging within schools and communities helps to ensure every individual is valued, there is someone who takes notice and reaches out when an individual may be struggling, and there is access to help when an individual is at risk.
At AMDSB, we have Board supports within our schools, as well as school-based workers from organizations such as Choices for Change, the Huron and Perth Health Units, Huron Perth Centre, Local Health Integration Network, School Police Constables, and more. Staff have access to our Employee Assistance Program – Morneau Shepell (800-387-4765). There are also the 24/7 Huron Perth Helpline and Crisis Response Team (888-829-7484) and Kids Help Phone (800-668-6868 or text 686868).
Coming this year will be continued suicide prevention awareness and knowledge about crisis response.