Suicide prevention day on Sept. 10 marks its 10th anniversary
London Community News
Sept. 10 marks the 10th anniversary of World Suicide Prevention Day. Sadly, suicide is the second leading cause of death among 10- to 24-year-olds in Canada.
The leading risk factor for suicide is untreated mental illness, particularly depression.
For every suicide completion, there are thousands more young people having thoughts of suicide and attempting suicide: a recent study found that 1-in-10 students in Grades 7 through 12 reported that they had seriously considered suicide, and about three per cent reported attempting suicide. Furthermore, suicide among Aboriginal youth is estimated to occur at rates five times higher than non-Aboriginal youth.
To mark World Suicide Prevention Day, Children’s Mental Health Ontario is joining with the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention to encourage communities across the province to get involved by showing their support for people affected by suicide.
Support can be expressed many ways; however, the gift of non-judgmental support is of utmost importance. Shame is one of the most challenging and prominent feelings around suicide. The stigma associated with suicide often prevents those suffering from getting help.
“We need to be open and we need to be educated. Let’s remove the stigma associated with suicide and start talking about it”, said Gordon Floyd, president and CEO of Children’s Mental Health Ontario (CMHO). “Less stigma will lead to earlier identification of mental health problems that could lead to suicide, and earlier intervention will result in more effective treatment.”
CMHO represents more than 85 accredited child and youth mental health service providers in Ontario, and works to raise public awareness of children’s mental health issues, including suicide, to generate discussion about this issue.
One-in-five children and youth has a mental health issue severe enough to seriously affect their daily functioning at home, school or within the community. The importance of early intervention is critical so that young persons have the best possible chance at succeeding in all aspects of their life.
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