“Take time to reach out.” These words run across the top of the PDF created by the International Association for Suicide Prevention. The PDF includes signs of suicide to look out for, suggestions on how to reach out, and resources that you can access.
In the words of the World Health Organization, “By creating hope through action, we can signal to people experiencing suicidal thoughts that there is hope and that we care and want to support them. It also suggests that our actions, no matter how big or small, may provide hope to those who are struggling. Lastly, it highlights the importance of setting suicide prevention as a priority public health agenda by countries, particularly where access to mental health services and availability of evidence-based interventions are already low.”
World Suicide Prevention Day is an important awareness day for us at Covenant House Vancouver. It is not uncommon for young people to experience suicidal thoughts amidst painful experiences in their lives.
How We Help
Many of our youth living on the streets of Vancouver experience mental health concerns that are often left undiagnosed including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and borderline personality disorder. Often these youth cope by turning to substance use.
When it becomes apparent that a youth is struggling with a mental health or addiction, a Social Worker on our Case Management Team refers them to one of our in-house Registered Clinical Counsellors. The youth and their Clinical Counsellor will determine what supports the youth requires through a trusting, confidential relationship.
We believe that providing services to aid with these concurrent disorders due to past traumas to clients while they are young is key to preventing lifelong homelessness and for effectively managing symptoms as an adult.
How You Can Help
The International Association for Suicide Prevention also offers some resources for how to take action to prevent suicide. You can read “Take Time to Reach Out”. You can also explore some of their suggested activities for World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10.