September is National Suicide Prevention Month and the Crisis Centre for Northern BC has a few tips for residents about how they can support someone who is struggling.
In an interview with Vista Radio, Executive Director, Riley Skinner explains how someone can reach out and provide a lifeline.
“Usually, the best way to check in with someone is to look at how they are behaving or acting and pick out something that is out of the ordinary for them. It can be anything. Maybe it is someone that goes out on walks every day and they have stopped going on their walk. Ask them why they haven’t been going on their walks.”
Skinner added similar to substance use, the topic of suicide still comes with a lot of shame.
“Suicide is still something that comes with a lot of stigma. Especially here in the north, many believe that talking about suicide can cause harm to someone, it might cause them to have more thoughts of suicide or it might cause them to have new thoughts of suicide.”
“When the truth around it is connection is something that makes suicide or thoughts of suicide less intense. Suicide typically comes from someone’s inability to cope or helplessness, burdensomeness, and hopelessness. So, when we make a connection when we talk about suicide and we ask people how they are doing, what we are doing is relieving some of the pressures they are feeling.”
According to the province, suicide deaths have been on the decline going from 634 in 2019 to 582 in 2021.
Data from the BC Coroners Service noted 60 suicide deaths occurred in Northern Health in 2021.
The Canadian Mental Health Association says approximately 4,000 Canadians die each year from suicide.
In addition, the Soles Remembering Souls Memorial Walk is taking place in Prince George on September 27th from the Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park Bandshell.
A link can be found here.