Silence Hurts: break the silence around suicide and mental illness

Halton Region is a member of the Halton Suicide Prevention Coalition and with World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, the coalition members are working hard again this year to reduce the stigma associated with suicide and mental illness. Their key message is “silence hurts” because the biggest barrier to getting help for those having suicidal thoughts or suffering from a loss is opening up and talking to someone. The Coalition wants everyone to know that help is available in Halton and we all can play a role in suicide prevention.

To raise awareness, the HSPC is offering a free community event at Holy Trinity Secondary School, 2420 Sixth Line, Oakville, on September 10, from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. The session will focus on:

•             the signs of someone considering suicide

•             how to respond

•             how to seek help as an individual or as someone dealing with a loss

•             the local supports

The evening will also include a presentation about Developmental Assets®, which are the proven positive experiences all children need to reach their potential. A similar event will also be held at Georgetown District High School on October 8. The Georgetown evening will also include a youth break-out session.

The HSPC is an important collaborative of individuals and organizations who provide leadership, advocacy and education to support everyone in our community. They include the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Halton Branch, The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), The Schizophrenia Society of Ontario (SSO), the Phoenix Program, ADAPT (Halton Alcohol, Drug and Gambling Assessment, Prevention and Treatment Services), Support and Housing Halton, the Halton District School Board, the Halton Catholic District School Board, the hospital sector and individuals affected by suicide.

I hope you will consider attending one of the upcoming events, volunteering for the coalition or coming to their November 8 annual general meeting. For more information, visit www.suicidepreventionhalton.ca.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”