SUICIDE IS ABOUT PAIN is Here4Hope’s suicide awareness campaign. The campaign helps community members understand that suicide is about struggling to live. By using the universal experience of pain, we hope to create understanding, compassion and empathy which will ultimately reduce stigma. The visual process used in the campaign see the signs start the conversation connect to support helps everyone to know how to help.
Coming together to raise awareness and discuss suicide is important but we need to consider safety. Vulnerable individuals can be triggered by discussion and it is important that we always have support on hand. How we talk about or portray suicide and local support can impact risk and help seeking in unintended ways. If you are planning an event reach out to Here4Hope for support. Here is a resource that you might find helpful:
Education and Training Resources
CMHAWW offers several suicide awareness and training programs that are open to the general public. These programs are all designed to increase the capacity of participants to understand suicide, become comfortable speaking to someone struggling with suicide and connecting them to available resources.
SafeTALK (Suicide Alertness For Everyone) is a half-day, evidence-based suicide-alertness workshop that prepares anyone 15 years of age and older to become a suicide-alert helper. safeTALK is like suicide first aid. Participants need no previous experience or training in order to become more ready, willing and able to be suicide prevention helpers.
ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training): ASIST is a two-day interactive workshop in suicide first-aid. Participants learn to recognize when someone may have thoughts of suicide and work with them to create a plan that will support their immediate safety. Suicide can impact anyone at anytime. Not only is this training appropriate for service providers, teachers, youth workers, emergency workers, counsellors, faith leaders, and volunteers, but also supervisors, co-workers, community members, family and friends. Participants do not need formal training to attend the workshop – ASIST can be learned and used by anyone
The “ASK” Workshop challenges commonly held notions about childrens’ capacity to consider suicide. It facilitates awareness of the signs that a young child may be at risk and what is needed to help. Case studies provide opportunities to apply what is learned. A helper tool teaches how to organize and summarize the available information about a given child. This form can then be used by someone, perhaps the participants themselves, in safety planning. Participants of The “ASK” Workshop are typically helpers who routinely come into contact with children ages 5-14. While not required, prior completion of safeTALK or ASIST is recommended.
For more information and to register, please visit the CMHAWW website.
Many organizations provide support to vulnerable individuals that could be at increased risk for suicide. Staff in organizations such as shelters, residential treatment facilities, first responders and primary care could increase their capacity to address suicide with the following resources.
The Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (CSSRS)
The Columbia Protocol, also known as the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS), supports suicide risk assessment through a series of simple, plain-language questions that anyone can ask. The answers help users identify whether someone is at risk for suicide, assess the severity and immediacy of that risk, and gauge the level of support that the person needs.
Suicide Prevention Training Modules for Physicians and Nurses
Nurses and doctors are often best positioned to identify and support those dealing with suicide. The Mental Health Commission of Canada, mdBriefCase and the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention developed these online accredited modules that will help healthcare providers to embed suicide prevention into their practice.
The module for family physicians is accredited by the College of Family Physicians Canada.
The French module for family physicians is accredited through the Fédération des Médecins Omnipraticiens du Québec (FMOQ)
Media Guidelines Resources
Canadian Psychiatric Association Media Guidelines
The Media Guidelines for Reporting on Suicide Report 2018 provide a comprehensive overview of what to consider when you are reporting on suicide.
The Mindset project is project created by Canadian journalist for journalists. Its goal is to support facts based more complete storytelling that does not contribute to stigma or created unintended harm.
Safer Conversations on Social Media
How we talk about and portray suicide in all media is important, including our own social media accounts. If you are going to post about your experiences with suicide online there are a few things to consider to ensure safety. Think about why you are posting, what you are sharing and the potential effect on those likely to see it.
When sharing focus on hope, consider yours and others privacy, talk about how you sought help and provide warnings regarding sensitive content.
For more information please download:
Means Restriction Resources
Promoting efforts to reduce the availability, accessibility and attractiveness of the means of suicide among individuals with identified suicide risk is an evidenced based suicide prevention intervention that can save lives.
A person’s distress can sometimes escalate rapidly into thoughts of suicide and trying to end their life. The impulse and the readiness to end one’s life can be strong but are usually short lived. In this context suicide attempts usually occur with little or no planning and the method a person chose often depends on availability.
Here are some steps we can take to reduce access to lethal means to keep ourselves and others safe during an active suicidal crisis:
- Remove all firearms from the home or keep them locked up separated from any ammunition
- Dispose of any unused prescriptions and keep only limited quantities of over the counter medicine at home
- Lock up abuse prone medications safely
- Have any opioid medication that the person at risk is taking dispensed daily by a trusted caregiver
- Keep Narcan, a nasal spray that can help reverse an opioid overdose on hand
Download and review this resource on creating safety at home
Promoting Life and Preventing Suicide
In June of 2020 the Suicide Prevention Project Lead – CMHAWW presented to the national Roots of Hope participants a webinar on postvention. The content of this presentation was summarized into a two page resource that can be found below.