World Suicide Prevention Day

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World Suicide Prevention Day is observed internationally on September 10

Suicide is preventable, though many of us have either been impacted by it or know of someone who has. Suicide is not someone else's problem-it's everyone's problem. Developing and maintaining connections, and strengthening our capacity to listen to those in need, are ways we can help build relationships with others and better assist individuals who may be at risk.

The World Health Organization estimates that over 800,000 people die by suicide each year - that's one person every 40 seconds, with many more who make a suicide attempt.

Statistics that are closer to home:

Canada
In 2016, a total of 3,926 deaths by suicide were reported in Canada (2,971 men, 954 women). Of the 2,971 men who died by suicide, males between the ages of 40-59 accounted for the highest number of suicides (1,305), followed by men between the ages of 20-39 (863). In that same year, suicide accounted for 24% of all deaths among individuals between the ages of 15-24.
Alberta
In 2016, a total of 3,926 deaths by suicide were reported in Canada (2,971 men, 954 women). Of the 2,971 men who died by suicide, males between the ages of 40-59 accounted for the highest number of suicides (1,305), followed by men between the ages of 20-39 (863). In that same year, suicide accounted for 24% of all deaths among individuals between the ages of 15-24.
University of Alberta
Findings from the 2019 National College Health Assessment survey of 965 University of Alberta (U of A) students found that 13.7% of participants considered suicide at one point during the 12-month survey period, with 1.8% respondents who disclosed they had attempted suicide during this time. Generalizing this sample to our U of A campus community suggests that in 2019, at least 721 people attempted suicide, and 5,488 individuals thought about suicide at some point during the year.

Together We Can Make Difference

Suicide is a community concern. Research tells us that most people who are thinking about suicide will disclose their thoughts to someone they know. We can help our community be safe by developing our own skills and knowledge in how we support someone who is thinking about suicide.

What can you do?

HELP
LEARN
ACT
  • Reduce the stigma: talk to your friends, classmates, colleagues, and students about mental health.
  • Wear a ribbon and be part of the global campaign. (Days of Action committee members will be handing out ribbons on September 10, 2019.)
  • Join a student group like Jack.org, or others who focus on promoting mental health.
  • Volunteer or access peer support at the U of A (Unitea, Peer Support Centre).
  • Support and advocate for mental health promotions in your community.
  • Take care of yourself (e.g., practice gratitude and de-stressing activities).

Are you grieving someone who has died by suicide?

The following off-campus supports can help you:

CMHA Suicide Grief Support Program

The CMHA Suicide Grief Support Program is free and offers drop-in and group support services. They also have an afternoon and evening adult bereavement suicide support group.

Canadian Mental Health Association

The Canadian Mental Health Association has a 24-hour Distress Line: 780-482-HELP (4357) and Online chat.

Drop in YEG

Drop in YEG offers free single-session counselling.

First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness

First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness offers a 24-hour Helpline: 1-855-242-3310 and Online chat.

Online Resources

There are a variety of online resources that provide information and resources for suicide prevention.