More than 50 people attended the CMHA Vernon branch’s third annual Be the Light event in Polson Park on Sept. 10, 2019. The event marked World Suicide Prevention Day. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)

COVID-19: Suicide prevention event moves online in Vernon this fall

Vernon and District CMHA calls out for personal art, words and photos for new website

The annual Be the Light event which marks World Suicide Prevention Day will be held virtually in Vernon due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The Vernon and District Branch of Canadian Mental Health Association has adapted its annual event slated for Sept. 10, to conform to COVID-19 protocols. Instead of the annual outdoor event, CMHA will host a month-long virtual experience with the theme of recovery and hope.

Event organizers want the virtual platform to be accessible by the entire community.

The website will be a starting point for digital visitors wanting to learn more about suicide prevention and for survivors of suicide attempt and loss to share their stories and spread awareness.

“Suicide prevention does not need to be left to only professionals,” Vernon and District CMHA said. “There are many ways that anyone can support those in need. Change begins with stigma reduction. The more we talk about suicide, the more we can spread information regarding resources and supports that are in place.”

In the past, the outdoor event has successfully fostered a sense of community for those in attendance. That remains the goal for the virtual event.

CMHA is asking participants to submit personal videos, photographs of art and written words to be shared on the website through the month of September.

“We would like for this to be a collaborative effort between our organization and Vernon citizens,” the organizers said.

For more information, contact CMHA staff at support@cmhavernon.ca.

The submission deadline is Aug. 14, 2020.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Solace found during Vernon’s Be the Light event

READ MORE: Good Samaritan on motorcycle stops assault in Coldstream


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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