What is Suicide Awareness Month?
The Canadian Mental Health Association, Windsor-Essex County Branch (CMHA-WECB) in partnership with the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) leads an annual campaign to bring awareness about mental health promotion and suicide prevention. We have gathered a large network of community partners to plan, organize and celebrate the eighth anniversary of our Suicide Awareness campaign. Many events will occur throughout the month of September (2023 Calendar of Events).The Suicide Awareness Month planning group includes representatives from all sectors including Workplace, Health Services, Police and Emergency Services, Community, School Boards, and Post-Secondary Institutions.
Why are we Focusing on Suicide Awareness?
According to the World Health Organization, someone around the globe dies by suicide every 40 seconds1. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among Canadians under 25 years-old2. In 2011, more than 40 Windsor-Essex County (WEC) residents died by suicide and there was a nine year high for self-harm emergency department visits in 20153. The highest rate of suicides in WEC was in those aged 45 to 64, with men being 75% more likely to die by suicide than women3. This is still happening despite the fact that suicide is preventable. For more information, read the Mental Health Profile Report: Windsor-Essex County by clicking here.
The key message for our campaign is “You Are Not Alone”. Connecting and openly communicating with those who have had suicidal thoughts or those who have lost loved ones to suicide is essential in the effort towards suicide prevention. Since many people are unable to express and discuss their feelings due to the fear of being stigmatized, we hope that this message will help those who are struggling with suicidal thoughts or have lost a loved one to suicide to know that there is help available to support them in their journey towards healthier and more meaningful lives.
Our goal is to raise awareness for suicide prevention, improve education, and build skills in the community to reduce incidents of self-harm. We hope to increase public knowledge about suicide warning signs and where to access relevant resources and services related to prevention, intervention, and bereavement.
What is Happening During the Month?
CMHA-WECB, WECHU, and other community partners will be hosting various events and activities throughout the month to promote suicide awareness and prevention (e.g., webinars, training workshops, talks, wearing yellow, etc.). Check out our events calendar to see what’s happening around Windsor-Essex County.
What Can Your Organization Do to Contribute to Suicide Awareness?
If your organization plans on contributing to Suicide Awareness Month by organizing an event for your employees in the workplace or for the general public, please submit your event here. The events will be shared in our calendar to spotlight the various suicide awareness initiatives that are taking place during the month. One of the goals of the Suicide Awareness Campaign is to increase the community capacity for suicide awareness and prevention. CMHA-WECB offers suicide education programs, mental health promotion and suicide prevention training workshops to empower community members to be better equipped to recognize and respond to the warning signs of suicide.
Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @CMHAWECB and @TheWECHU
Our hashtags are #SuicideAwareness2023 #YouAreNotAlone
Videos have been created for Suicide Awareness. Please view and share.