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.

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.

 

Just Posted

PHOTO: Add flavour to your weekend with the Chilliwack Garlic Festival

The annual garlicky event runs Saturday and Sunday at Fantasy Farms

Fleeing helicopter that landed in Chilliwack part of major cross-border drug bust: documents

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vedder Rotary trail network in Chilliwack will be closed for five days on the south side

The upgrade will take until Friday so trail users asked to take alternate routes

Chilliwack encouraged to commemorate liberation of Holland

Planning already underway to mark the 75th anniversary of the event

UPDATE: RCMP confirm body of missing Chilliwack senior found

Ethel ‘Grace’ Baranyk had severe dementia

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

Border crossings across Lower Mainland seeing lengthy delays

Sumas, Peace Arch and Surrey-Blaine border crossings seeing long wait times

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Most Read