Itís one of the leading causes of death worldwide, but one that often isnít even talked about. One local organization is speaking out in an attempt to change that.
The Sea to Sky Suicide Awareness and Prevention Working Group recently expanded its programming to Squamish. The one-year-old initiative holds community workshops that help people identify, help and connect individuals at risk of suicide to resources. Any organization or business can request a 30- or 60-minute presentation, said Christine Buttkus, who volunteers for the group.
This summer, the group added youth-focused workshops to its toolkit.
ď[The workshops] help the community to understand signs to look for and help them to know what to do or where to go for help,Ē Buttkus said.
Every 40 seconds, one person dies as a result of suicide worldwide, states the International Association for Suicide Prevention. Nearly one million people commit suicide annually. On Tuesday (Sept. 10), the local suicide prevention group held its inaugural bike ride as a part of World Suicide Awareness Day.
The subject carries social stigmas, Buttkus said, making it a difficult for some people to open up about.
ďThis stigma affects people from reaching out for treatment or others to help people like this,Ē she said. ďWe want people to know that they donít have to struggle alone.Ē
The corridor group is comprised of volunteers from Helping Hands Society, North Shore Schizophrenia Society, Sea to Sky Community Services Society, School District 48 and Vancouver Coastal Mental Health and Addiction Services.
For more information or to book a mini-presentation call (604) 849-2252.