Taking a minute can change a life

Taking a minute can change a life

World Suicide Prevention Day calls on the community to “take a minute” to check in on someone in need.

World Suicide Prevention Day 2017 is calling on the community to “take a minute” to check in on someone in need.

More than 800,000 people a year die by suicide. Up to 25 times as many have made a suicide attempt. Each individual has their own story and we cannot point to any single cause, situation or event that leads a person to see no other avenue but to take their life.

Many of those that survived talk about wishing, in the days, hours or minutes before an attempt, that they could have seen another way, or that someone had reached out to them. For every suicide attempt, there are countless family, friends, colleagues or school mates that wish they had seen the signs, reached out or found resources to help.

There are many reasons why people may be reluctant to reach out. Fear of talking about suicide, fear of making it worse, fear of not knowing what to do, or where to get help.

In truth, there is no hard and fast formula, but the evidence suggests that talking about suicide is far more likely to reduce distress than exacerbate it, and that showing compassion and empathy can have a significant impact in keeping someone safe, and supporting them towards recovery.

Also important to remember is that resources are available, not only to equip people to communicate effectively with someone at risk, but to connect vulnerable people with professional help.

These resources are close at hand, and crisis centres across BC will be talking part in events and running workshops on or around World Suicide Prevention Day to train the community in how to “take a minute to change a life”.

If you are concerned about suicide, either for yourself or someone you know, now is the time to reach out by calling 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-784-2433.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer and supporting people in need in your community, see the CLABC website for links to your local crisis centre, at http://www.crisislines.bc.ca/our-members

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