Programs provide help

According to the 2010 Coroner’s Report, B.C. lost an average of 495 people a year due to suicide over the years 2001 to 2010

Each year suicide claims the lives of more than 3,500 people in Canada.

According to the 2010 Coroner’s Report, B.C. lost an average of 495 people a year due to suicide over the years 2001 to 2010.

The effects of suicide can be devastating to communities and families.

“Suicide can shatter the family and friends of a loved one,” said Health Minister Terry Lake.

“It can also affect anyone, anywhere of any age, gender and culture.”

Tuesday is World Suicide Prevention Day.

This year, the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention has chosen the theme “Hope and Resiliency at Home and Work.”

The campaign is intended to give families and employees the tools they need to thrive and be safer by strengthening connections, promoting conversations about mental wellness, and knowing how we can help protect and care for each other during times of crisis.

“Many suicides are preventable,” said Jenny Turco, community health facilitator with the Interior Health Authority.

“Suicide prevention is a shared responsibility. We all have the potential to make a difference and save a life. If someone you know is feeling suicidal, it is important to know that help is available.”

The Interior Crisis Line Network is part of the 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433) network and provides Interior Health residents with around-the-clock access to telephone support when they need assistance managing personal concerns.

The toll-free number is 1-888-353-CARE (2273).

Other services are available to residents through local mental health and substance use services, family physicians, and emergency services.

Online support through websites such as www.crisiscentre.bc.ca or youthinbc.com/ is also available.

“Everyone can benefit from the help and support of their family, friends, and community during difficult times,” said Turco.

“Suicide prevention begins with our willingness to recognize the signs of suicide and talk openly about it. Once you have a feeling that someone might be thinking about suicide, it is important to ask them as directly, clearly, and as soon as possible.”