Marking World Suicide Prevention Day
It’s a stark statistic: every year, more than 700,000 people around the world take their own lives. In Canada alone, approximately 4,500 people die by suicide each year—which is equivalent to 12 people every day. And for every suicide, there are another estimated 20 people who attempt suicide.
World Suicide Prevention Day was started 20 years ago as a way to shine light on the issue of suicide—and provide hope to those struggling with suicidal thoughts. Marked this past Sunday (September 10th) during Suicide Prevention Month, its goal is to reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues, raise awareness, and work to find ways to prevent suicide.
Working together to prevent suicides
Operation Lifesaver’s mission is to save lives. We do this by educating Canadians about the risks around tracks and trains. But we’re also doing our part to try to prevent loss of life by suicide through our Today is Better campaign.
The campaign features the personal stories of 13 Canadians who’ve experienced suicidal thoughts, but found help. These heart-wrenching, yet inspirational, videos offer hope to anyone struggling with their mental health.
“The people who shared their stories for the campaign are proof that no matter how dark life can feel, it can get better,” says Sarah Mayes, National Director of Operation Lifesaver Canada. “The videos send an important message to those facing mental health challenges—that you don’t have to face them alone.”
Providing hope to those in distress
The Today is Better campaign is OL’s way of providing hope to people who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts. It was developed in partnership with Talk Suicide Canada and the Association québécoise de prévention du suicide (AQPS) as a way to connect Canadians in distress with trained, compassionate responders across the country.
So, if you know someone who is struggling, reach out and share these videos with them. And if you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts, find someone to talk to—whether it’s a family member, a friend, or a health professional. A trained responder is ready to listen, anytime, day or night. Just call 1-833-456-4566 or 1-866-APPELLE (in Quebec).