World Suicide Prevention Day

World Suicide Prevention Day: September 10

It takes a community to prevent suicide. Most people thinking about suicide will disclose their thoughts to someone they know. We can help our community be safe by developing our skills and knowledge to support someone thinking about suicide and by developing a socially connected community so that people have someone to turn to. Learn how to participate in suicide prevention by attending Suicide Prevention Day Events on your campus. 


North Campus

Let’s Chat about Mental Health

September 11| 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. | Heritage Lounge, Athabasca Hall 

Join a series of conversations for students led by UofA student groups and a panel discussion about suicide prevention. At the panel, participants can ask anonymous questions and hear from peers, campus professionals, and alums with lived experience. 

Let us know if you plan to attend

Question, Persuade Refer Suicide Prevention Training 

September 15 | 12 - 2 p.m. | TBD

Campus Saint Jean

La santé mentale, parlons-en!

11 septembre | 10h à 14h | Campus Saint-Jean Caféteria

Chat with peers and Josée Ouellette, psychotherapist for Campus Saint-Jean and get ideas about how you can care for your mental health. 


The Open Door Booth 

September 11 | 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. | Forum

Learn how Open Door can support your mental health and help prevent suicide. 

Community can prevent suicide: What’s one thing you can do? 

We all play a part in suicide prevention. Share one thing you can do that contributes to suicide prevention in our campus community this year and enter to win one of four door prizes. If you need ideas, check out our tips under “Community Prevention.” Share your suggestion here and be entered to win a prize. This form closes on September 29. See rules for participation here. 

If you need help 

Suicide exists on a spectrum of having thoughts of suicide to having an active plan. Help is available no matter where a person is on that spectrum. It can be hard to believe that there are other options. It can be difficult to ask for help, but finding safe people to talk to is one of the best things you can do; you don’t have to face thoughts of suicide alone. 

If you think you may attempt suicide, get help right away:

  • Remove yourself from danger or (if safe) stay where you are.
  • Find someone to talk to. Reach out to a close friend, a loved one, a spiritual leader or someone else in your faith community.
  • Seek help from your doctor or other health care provider or call a distress line. 
  • Slow your breathing and refocus; remind yourself of how you have made it through difficult times in the past.
  • You can get immediate support by calling or texting the following:
  • If you are out of the country and having thoughts of suicide, use this international directory to find a crisis line in your country.

Find additional supports

If you are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1- or have someone take you to the nearest emergency room.

If someone else needs help

Research shows that talking about suicide doesn’t increase the likelihood that someone will attempt. In fact, connecting with someone who cares can make a life-saving difference.

If you are concerned that someone is thinking about suicide, ask them directly:

  • “Are you thinking about suicide?” or
  • “Are you having thoughts of ending your life?”

If they tell you they are thinking about suicide, take time to find out if they have a plan:

  • Do they know when?
  • Do they know how? If yes, do they have the means on them? 
  • Do they know where?

Help connect them to appropriate resources that can provide care. This includes getting them to emergency services if they have consumed anything lethal or have immediate plans to act on their thoughts of suicide.

You can develop your skillset to help people with suicidal ideation through free training provided by Wellness Supports.

Tips for supporters

We don’t need to be a therapist to support friends, colleagues, or students in our community who are thinking about suicide. Our support can be crucial for people needing additional support if they are thinking about suicide. These conversations are important. Supporters need care, too, to effectively be there for others. Know that our campus supports are available for you, too.


  • If you anticipate having a conversation about suicide, take some time to do some meaningful self-care to help you be present for the conversation. 
  • Not sure how to approach the conversation? Call the Distress Line 780-482-4357 (HELP) to talk the scenario through. 
  • Check-in with yourself after the discussion and assess what you might need. You can call a distress line to talk through the experience or consider reaching out to a trusted friend or family member. 
  • Supporting someone doesn't mean you are the only one who can help. In fact, this can be harmful to you and the person you’re concerned about. Don’t make promises to keep suicidal ideation a secret.  Instead, encourage them to think about who in their life they can reach out to and help them make those connections. 
  • Skill up and take the free mental health training available to you through the University.

Struggling with a loss from suicide?

Losing someone you care about can be shocking and incredibly painful; the experience can be intense, complex, and long-term. Working through grief is an extremely individual and unique process, you will need to find your own way and your own pace. Connect with resources that will support you in making sense of what has happened and learn how to live with your loss. Campus and community resources, such as helplines and the Peer Support Centre, are also available for your support.