September 10 was World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) and the Champlain East Suicide Prevention Coalition (CESPC) is working to raise awareness of the need to prevent suicide.

According to the coalition, every year, 160 million people worldwide contemplate suicide and, tragically, 800,000 of them die by suicide. This means that more than 159 million people survive suicidal crises every year.  “There is no reason that anyone has to die by suicide and, if we all do our part, we can prevent suicide and the devastating impacts,” said a statement from the coalition.

Many people with thoughts or behaviours of suicide -describe the intense pain, filled with hopelessness and despair. They also talk about wanting the pain to end and not knowing how to live in their difficult situation.

The coalition’s statement explained that suicide does not necessarily mean that a person wants to die. The pain contributing to the thoughts of suicide is often caused by complex and unique circumstances surrounded by stressful life events with losses. With support and hope, people with thoughts of suicide, can recover and choosing life.

“Had it not for someone noticing that I was struggling and asked if I was thinking of suicide, I would not have opened up to sharing my story. It saved my life,” said an anonymous individual in the statement.

The CESPC wants to emphasize that suicide is preventable, and anyone can make a difference in helping individual who are suicidal by taking suicide prevention training.

In Eastern Ontario, LivingWorks Start online beginners suicide prevention training will be provided to the community at no cost, made possible by Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Champlain East, United Way SDG, and United Way East Ontario while space is available.  Contact Angela Warren at CMHA Champlain East at [email protected] for more information.

Other suicide prevention trainings available through CMHA Champlain East include SafeTALK, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) and Suicide to Hope. Please check the CMHA Champlain East website for training information.

For local information about suicide prevention, how you can get involve and to view testimonials visit the CESPC at

If you are thinking or know someone thinking of suicide, please contact the Mental Health Crisis Line at 1 866 996-0991.

The CESPC also wants to remind residents of the region that it only takes a minute to do something thoughtful that could make the difference in the life of a person who is struggling with suicidal thoughts.  Suggestions on what to do include:

Take a minute to say hi to a neighbor.

Take a minute to put yourself first.

Take a minute to cry when you need to.

Take a minute to write a postcard to someone special.

Take a minute to tell someone that it’s ok to talk about suicide.

Take a minute to check out

Take a minute to let someone know that you are available to listen.

Take a minute to do something life promoting.

Take a minute to spread the word about #WSPD

Take a minute to laugh/smile.

Take a minute to be grateful.

Take a minute to breathe.