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World Suicide Prevention Day activities held locally

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Each year in the tri-communities of Opaskwayak Health Authority, Town of The Pas, and R.M. of Kelsey in conjunction with Hope North, Canadian Mental Health Association Swan Valley/The Pas Area and Beatrice Wilson Health Centre recognize World Suicide Prevention Day. The World Suicide Prevention Day event was held Sept 10th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Gordon Lathlin Memorial Centre. DJ Derek Dick emceed for the event.
The event was a chance for everyone to join in promoting understanding about suicide. The Canadian Association of Suicide Prevention theme this year is “Creating Hope Through Action”. Through this year’s theme we hope to work together to create a movement of preventative action to recognize the impact of suicide and ultimately, strive to prevent it. Each of us can make a difference and save lives. There is no reason that anyone has to die by suicide and if we all do part, we can prevent those deaths that happen and the devastating impact they have.
When someone is struggling you can take these steps to help; Check in with them regularly to see how they are doing: Many times, a person having thoughts of suicide want to talk with someone to relieve their pain. Our circumstances are everchanging and often our pain can be reduced when we meet someone willing to talk about what is happening in our lives. When we listen without judgement, we can decrease the isolation someone is experiencing, and remind the person that others care for them.
Listen supportively to what they have to say: A genuine conversation can make all the difference in reducing a person’s thoughts of suicide. When talking about their thoughts of suicide, it’s possible they may move from all consuming pain to being able to manage their feelings. If you are worried about someone, you can say “I know you’ve been going through a lot lately. I want you to know I’m concerned about you.” If their response is worrisome you can ask “Are you feeling safe or do you think about suicide?” If the answer is yes; you can then connect them to a Mental Health Professional or if the situation becomes unsafe; call 911. Do not leave the person alone if they are in imminent danger of suicide.
Remember that you don’t have to have all the answers. Many times, when we talk with someone about suicide, we don’t know what to say. Just being there for them is often enough. When a person feels support, they tend to be more hopeful about life and their future. They may also start to think about what resources might work for them and/or what coping strategies worked for them in the past.
Know and introduce them to resources in their area and be prepared to assist them in finding information. You are not alone.
The resources listed below are available in the tri-communities to anyone thinking about suicide and those who have been impacted by a suicide. Whether you are seeking information, counseling, or need information to help a friend; any of these resources would be able to provide support, and connect you to the resources that best fit your needs.
Northern Health Region’ Mental Wellness and Recovery Program – 204-623-9650
Beatrice Wilson Health Centre’ Community Wellness Department– 204-627-7410
Northern Health Region’ Mental Health Promotion Specialist – 204-623-9638
Canadian Mental Health Association, Swan Valley and The Pas– 431-355-0932
When in Crisis or need support call these 24/7 Helplines available to the Tri Area
Manitoba Suicide Prevention and Support Line is there for you 24/7. If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts and feeling, if you are concerned about someone else, or grieving a suicide loss or impacted by a suicide attempt call Toll Free at 1-877-435-7170
Opaskwayak Cree Nation Support Line 204-623-0519
Kid’s Help Phone – 1-800-668-6868
First Nations and Inuit Hope For Wellness Helpline – 1-855-242-3310
If you would like to know more about HOPE North Suicide Prevention Committee or would like to join; Call Shellie Verville at 204-623-9638 or email sverville@nrha.ca

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