The World Health Organization estimates that over 800,000 people die each year by suicide.  That works out to one person every 40 seconds. 

 

Today, during World Suicide Prevention Day, Brenda Hume, the Executive Director of Community Links in Airdrie, believes it's time to reduce that shocking statistic.

Hume says the first step for anyone who might be contemplating suicide is to reach out for help.

"Most definitely, if anyone is having thoughts of suicide it's critical that they call someone right away, even if it's 9-1-1.  That way they can get support right away, either by coming in person into the Community Links office or by phoning,  It's very, very important to call as soon as someone is having those thoughts."

Hume says that all staff at Community Links are trained in Applied Suicide Intervention Skills training through the Centre for Suicide Prevention.  "That way we have the skills to assess and create a safety plan for those having suicidal thoughts.  We work very closely with our partners in the community, the RCMP, Mental Health, the Distress Centre, Airdrie and District Victim Services.  We're working very closely to ensure we get the help to those that are needing it, at the optimum time."

Hume believes it's important for people to be aware of the signs that might indicate someone is considering suicide, although sometimes they're difficult to spot.

"It's important if anything unusual is happening with their behaviour.  It could be giving things away, it could be withdrawl, it could be mood swings, it could be someone isolating themselves.  It's always, always important to make sure that person gets help right away, very quickly."

Although suicide is a difficult subject, Hume says it's an important one.  "It's one that we all, as a community, have to work together to address because we want to be there an ensure everyone is safe."

The number at Community Links is 403 945-3900.  Their office hours are Monday though Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm and they're open Thursday night until 8:00 pm.  

The Distress Centre's phone number is 403 266-HELP (4357).

Help is also available through Urgent Care and Mental Health.

Questions, comments or story ideas? Email us at [email protected] 

 

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