“Creating Hope Through Action” is the theme for the World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10th, 2023. This theme serves as a powerful call to action and reminders that there is an alternative to suicide and that through our actions, we can encourage hope and strengthen prevention.
Am I at Risk of Suicide?
Many kinds of emotional pain can lead to thoughts of suicide. The reasons for this pain are unique to each one of us, and the ability to cope with the pain differs from person to person. There are, however, some common causes that may lead us to experience suicidal thoughts and feelings. Some of the more common warning signs can include:
- Withdrawing from friends and social activities.
- Lost interest in activities that you were interested in or enjoyed doing.
- Feeling hopeless, having no reason to live, feeling like a burden to others, and/or feeling trapped.
- Engaging in dangerous or self-harmful behaviours such as driving recklessly, having unsafe sex, or increasing drug and/or alcohol use.
- Trauma: Having experienced recent trauma or a life crisis such as a death of a loved one or pet divorce or break-up of a relationship, diagnosis of a major illness, and/or loss of a job or serious financial problems.
Suicidal ideation isn’t always like flipping a switch. These thoughts may come on gradually over a period of weeks or months. Someone who has experienced fleeting or passive suicidal thoughts for a long time may not immediately recognize when those thoughts turn truly dangerous. However, a sudden spike in such thinking is likely an indication of a larger mental health problem or a significant life challenge.
There is no shame in seeking help. Talking to a loved one, counsellor, or therapist about such thoughts is the first step to overcoming them, strengthening mental well-being, and moving toward recovery.
For help with suicide crisis and prevention you can call the Southern Alberta Distress Centre at (403) 266-HELP (4357), Talk Suicide Canada at 1-833-456-4566, FCSS at 1-587-370-3728, or 911 if you or someone you know is in immediate danger.
Counselling Practicum Student