THUNDER BAY – LIVING – Today, in recognition of World Suicide Prevention Day, the Thunder Bay Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force is encouraging readers to “bookmark” the warning signs of suicidal behavior. Provided by the Thunder Bay Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force, suicide prevention bookmarks will be handed out at all Thunder Bay Public Library locations today to bring suicide prevention awareness to the community. The Task Force hopes that by urging the community to become informed, individuals will start a conversation to break the stigma of suicide and, ultimately, save lives.
Theresa Graham, Thunder Bay Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force Co-Chair, says; “As a community, youth are our most valuable asset. However, statistics show that suicide is the second leading cause of death in youth in Canada, and the number one leading cause of death in Thunder Bay’s youth. This is a devastating realization. By bookmarking the warning signs of suicide, and the local services available to individuals, we will all have the knowledge to intervene with care and concern before it’s too late. We want everyone to read up on the signs.”
The Thunder Bay Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force is a collaborative of more than 30 local organizations and agencies aiming to enhance the City of Thunder Bay’s capacity to prevent, and respond to, youth suicide. Starting today, the Thunder Bay Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force will be supporting a series of interactive workshops, called SafeTALK and ASIST, to dispel myths surrounding suicide and spread awareness about local support services
“The SafeTALK and ASIST workshops teach life-affirming skills to participants aged 15 and over. Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, or ASIST, is a 2-day workshop featuring group discussion and skills practice to prepare participants for first aid prevention in the risk of a suicide,” says Graham. “SafeTALK is a smaller, 3-hour workshop that teaches participants to recognize suicidal behaviour and connect individuals with life-saving resources. The Task Force is focused on building youth resiliency but sometimes more acutely preventative measures must be taken. World Suicide Prevention Day provides a unique opportunity to start that conversation.”
Since 2003, World Suicide Prevention Day has taken place on September 10th each year to serve as a preventative call to action to individuals and organizations. ‘Preventing Suicide: Reaching Out and Saving Lives’ is the theme of the 2015 World Suicide Prevention Day, encouraging everyone to consider the role that offering support may play in combating suicide.
“The subject matter of SafeTALK and ASIST fits with this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day theme of ‘Preventing Suicide: Reaching Out and Saving Lives’. They are globally recognized workshops that will better our community by disseminating the knowledge, compassion, and preventative action needed to reduce suicide in the region,” says Graham. “Reading up and bookmarking the signs is step one. The ultimate goal is to apply that knowledge and make a difference.”
The workshops this fall include:
Children’s Centre Thunder Bay SafeTALK
Call 343-5035 to register September 10th, 6 – 9 PM
Mental Health in Motion ASIST
Contact 708-6365 to register October 11 – 12th
For more information, visit: October 27th – 28th
Thunder Bay Counselling Centre ASIST
Call 684-1877 to register December 3rd – 4th
Those looking for more information about SafeTalk and ASIST, or the Thunder Bay Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force, are encouraged to visit www.heresthedeal.ca.