The 2nd annual “Be The Light” event is back at the Polson Park Bandshell on Sept. 10. (Photo contributed)

The 2nd annual “Be The Light” event is back at the Polson Park Bandshell on Sept. 10. (Photo contributed)

Vernon CMHA prepares for World Suicide Prevention day

Monday, Sept. 10 is World Suicide Prevention day.

World Suicide Prevention Day is an annual event aimed at providing an opportunity for the community to join together to focus attention on the needs of people at risk of suicide, suicide attempt survivors and people bereaved by suicide.

The theme this year is “Working together to prevent suicide.”

In recognition of World Suicide Prevention Day, which falls on Monday, Sept. 10 this year, the Canadian Mental Health Association will be hosting three main events.

Related: CMHA Vernon offers suicide prevention training in Vernon

Related: Vernon Crisis Hotline calls for volunteers

1. On Sept. 10 from 9 a.m.-noon, CMHA is offering a SafeTALK course at a reduced rate. SafeTALK is a half-day alertness training that prepares anyone 15 years and older, regardless of prior experience or training, to become a suicide-alert helper.

This training teaches participants how to:

* recognize a person with thoughts of suicide

* connect a person at risk of suicide to resources and supports that can further intervene

* use the simple yet effective TALK steps: Tell, Ask, Listen, and KeepSafe

The cost of the event $10. Space in this course is limited. CMHA encourages those interested to register by next Thursday.

2. On Sept. 10 from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., the second-annual “Be The Light” event is back at the Polson Park Bandshell. The evening aims to reduce the shame and stigma that often surrounds suicide to allow for hope, healing and remembrance. The evening starts with lantern making starting at 6 p.m. Afterward there will be speeches and then a short walk to the commemorative tree, which was planted last year in honour of those we have lost to suicide. The event is open to everyone — registration is not required.

3. The Canadian Association of Mental Health also plans to restart Vernon’s Suicide Grief Support Group. The Suicide Grief Support Group will offer a safe confidential place to express thoughts and emotions in an atmosphere cultivated for understanding and acceptance. The support group is facilitated by trained professionals and peers, offered at no cost. The group runs Wednesday evenings from 7 – 8:30p.m. for eight weeks (no group on Halloween). Pre-registration is required for participation.

For more details or to sign up for these events, call event coordinator Alyssa Christmas at 250-542-3114 ext. 232 or email sgsg.vernon@cmha.bc.ca .

The CMHA also provides a crisis line that is available 24/7 for anyone who may be struggling. This line provides confidential and non-judgmental emotional support.

Related: Ending the stigma around suicide, loved ones speak out

Related: A day to tackle the stigma surrounding mental health

Related: Vernon events spotlight mental health week

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Vernon CMHA prepares for World Suicide Prevention day

Vernon CMHA prepares for World Suicide Prevention day

Vernon CMHA prepares for World Suicide Prevention day