Reach out for mental health this Thursday

World Suicide Prevention Day takes place September 10 at Sto:lo Nation Grounds. This year's theme is Reaching Out to Save Lives.

World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10 brings people together to remember those who've been lost to suicide and to support suicide prevention and mental health.

World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10 brings people together to remember those who've been lost to suicide and to support suicide prevention and mental health.

Thursday, September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD). On this day, people gather all over the world to support suicide prevention, remember the lives lost to suicide, and to comfort and strengthen our connection with one another.

Annually hosted by the International Association of Suicide Prevention (IASP), this year’s theme is ‘Reaching Out and Saving Lives,’ which has multiple meanings for this important initiative.

The event is open to everyone, especially “those who have been touched by suicide or mental health struggles,” says Sabine Mendez, coordinator with Chilliwack Healthier Community.

“We should all have mental wellness as a priority in our lives,” Mendez continues. Everyone faces challenges, and World Suicide Prevention Day promotes healthy, positive ways to manage them.

Every year, more than 800,000 people die from suicide worldwide. Chilliwack is not immune to suicide’s consequential reach.

Though B.C. Coroners Reports conclude that Fraser has the lowest regional rate of suicides in the province, there are an average of 500 suicides in B.C. each year.

Many social, economic, cultural and psychiatric risk factors are involved with suicide. Mental health disorders (particularly depression), as well as experiencing conflict, disaster, violence and isolation are strongly associated with suicidal thoughts and behaviours.

Addressing the issue of isolation is paramount to this year’s WSPD theme.

“Feeling disconnected is one of the biggest problems in our culture,” Mendez explains. “There’s a mentality that prioritizes independence and “I don’t need anyone” attitudes, but it’s not healthy to be alone.”

A sense of belonging, through family, clubs, faith, work or otherwise, is essential. Having someone to talk to and can be life-saving.

The Reaching Out theme encourages us to reach out to organizations when we need help, and to connect with each other.

“A lot of us may know people who we suspect may be struggling, but we’re uncomfortable asking how they’re feeling” in a genuine, intentional manner.

This event, and all that value mental health, provide avenues to eradicate the stigma that surrounds mental health. “We want to make it as acceptable to talk about mental health as it is to bring up the pain in your hip” Mendez explains.

“I like to think that grief and sadness can be offset even a little by the sharing of annual gatherings such as this one,” said Jenz Malloway, Aboriginal Support and Crisis Intervention Coordinator at Sto:lo Nation Health, in a press release.

Thursday’s event will include a variety of free activities for the public, including expressive arts like rock painting and weaving cedar roses. There will also be smudging rituals, therapeutic touch and Reiki treatments, and various workshops that address sacred traditions, communication skills and mental health.

One of the most visually impactful elements of the event will be the Clootie tree. A Celtic tradition, community members tie a piece of cloth to the Clootie tree as a symbol of remembrance to someone that they’ve lost.

The event takes place September 10 from 1:30 to 6 p.m. at Sto:lo Nation grounds (7201 Vedder Road), beginning in the Long House. Attendees will receive a map and schedule to guide their afternoon.

At the end of the day, there will be a free dinner as well as draws for prizes and passes to the 7 p.m. showing of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The film will be followed by a question and answer period to provide direction and support to those who seek it.

1-800-SUICIDE is available 24 hours per day, seven days a week.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Information about the number of COVID-19 cases in Abbotsford and other municipalities poses a danger to the public, the Provincial Health Services Authority says. (Photo: Tyler Olsen/Abbotsford News)
More city-level COVID-19 data would jeopardize public health, B.C. provincial health agency says

Agency refuses to release weekly COVID-19 case counts, citing privacy and public health concerns

Inez Louis opens up about testing positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 3, 2020. (Inez Louis/Facebook)
Juno-nominated singer and Indigenous health planner goes public about testing positive for COVID-19

In a livestream from bed, Inez Louis begs everyone to ‘do the right thing’ and follow health orders

Former Hope resident Jason Thomas Graff is set to be sentenced on charges of telecommunicating to lure a child and posession of child pornography at the Chilliwack Law Courts Jan. 28. (File photo)
Former Hope resident to be sentenced for child luring in Chilliwack court

Sentencing Jan. 28 at Chilliwack Law Courts following offences in Hope, Vancouver Island

A black-capped chickadee tolerates the 40 below zero weather. (File)
Harrison Christmas Bird Count taking flight

Local bird watchers help with worldwide bird tracking effort

RCMP don’t want to see you having your vehicle towed away after an aggressive driving infraction. (RCMP photo)
Chilliwack RCMP hand out more than 500 tickets in aggressive driving crackdown

Police say they’ll continue to focus on speeding, aggressive and distracted driving

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

Melissa David, of Parachutes for Pets and her dogs Hudson and Charlie are trying to raise money for a homeless shelter that will allow pets and are seen in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘My only wish:’ Children asking pet charity to help their furry friends at Christmas

Parachutes for Pets says it has received 14 letters from children in the last week t

Melissa Velden and her chef-husband Chris Velden, stand in their dining room at the Flying Apron Inn and Cookery in Summerville, N.S. on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. The couple is hosting holiday parties with appropriate distancing and other COVID-19 health protocols in place at their restaurant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Celebrities, Santa and Zoom part of office holiday parties being held amid COVID-19

Many will send tokens of appreciation to workers or offer time off or cash

Cops converge in a Marshall Road parking lot on Thursday afternoon (Dec. 3) after an inmate escaped from corrections officers. The man was taken back into custody a short while later. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
UPDATE: Prisoner shot at by guards in Abbotsford had history of escapes

Stephane Bissonnette escapes from corrections officers, but is arrested a short while later

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

Most Read