(Note: This article originally appeared in the Kelowna Capital News)
Sept. 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD), an opportunity to spread messages of help, hope, and healing. Awareness days can increase the public’s knowledge about specific issues and reduce the stigma that often keeps people from reaching out for help. Awareness days like WSPD are a great start, but they also come and go.
The Kelowna branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association – CMHA Kelowna – wants everyone in our community to be equipped to support a loved one, or even a stranger, to keep safe if they are having thoughts of suicide. These skills can be applied throughout a lifetime, beyond one day or month of the year.