CMHA Kelowna is offering two safeTALK suicide alertness courses, broadening World Suicide Prevention Day into a month-long campaign.

Suicide affects us all: Here’s how you can help

Local programs turn World Suicide Prevention Day into a month-long campaign

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.

“Suicide prevention is everyone’s business. Everyone is impacted when there is a loss in our community,” says Jessica Samuels, Communication Manager at CMHA Kelowna. “We also know that many people find themselves in a position where they want to help, but don’t know what to do.”

You don’t need to be a medical professional to support someone to connect with services in our community. CMHA Kelowna is offering two safeTALK suicide alertness courses, broadening WSPD into a month-long campaign. The courses are being subsidized by the Blenk Family Fund through the KGH Foundation and only cost $10 per person to register.

safeTALK is a half-day training where participants learn to be more alert when someone may be having thoughts of suicide, and provides a framework for having conversations about connecting to intervention services.

“In a safeTALK course, we usually have participants from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. This creates a dynamic learning environment and it doesn’t matter if you’ve had any prior training or not,” says Aaryn Secker, CMHA Kelowna’s safeTALK facilitator. “Hope is the basis of the course. Many people in the room have felt the impact of suicide in very personal ways, but there is hope for the future if we work together.”

CMHA Kelowna is also running a two-day Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) course on Sept. 20 and ongoing programming through their Wellness Development Centre, Workplace Training department, and the Foundry Kelowna integrated youth clinic, of which CMHA Kelowna is the lead agency.

“There is so much we can do on a day-to-day basis to support wellness and safety in our community,” says Samuels. “We want people to know that they are not alone.”

For course registration and more information on how to get involved, visit: cmhakelowna.com/suicide-prevention-month

If you or someone you love is experiencing a mental health crisis or thoughts of suicide, please call 911 or 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433).

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Restaurant dedicated to the potato opens its doors in Kelowna

Oh So Potato has opened to the public in Kelowna on KLO Road.

Highway 97 widening in Kelowna complete

Province announces end of $67 milion project to six-lane 4.5 kilometres of the busy highway

No Stuart Park fire-pit in Kelowna this winter

City says in bid to reduce natural gas use, it won’t light fire pit at popular outdoor ice rink

Differences between the California and Okanagan fires taken seriously

Chief Travis Whiting and Kelowna Fire Department learn from the devasting U.S. fires

Your guide to winter light ups around the Okanagan

From Vernon to Summerland, with a stop in Kelowna, we’ve found some activities for you to enjoy

Find me my furever home

Meet Moon a 16-year-old senior gentleman at the Kelowna BC SPCA

B.C. connection to launch of new $10 bill

Great nephew of Viola Desmond says bill is a ‘step in the right direction’

Elections BC keeps eye on Canada Post dispute, but no change in Nov. 30 deadline

Vote No spokesman say an extension of one or two weeks would ensure all ballots are counted

Langley school pulls Japanese ‘rising sun’ flag after student petition

School district promises consultation with students and parents, defends using flag for war history

Calgary bobsled death inquiry recommends infrared technology, safety audits

A judge found the deaths of 17-year-old twins Evan and Jordan Caldwell were accidental and caused by blunt-force head and neck trauma

First ski hill in B.C. opened this weekend

Sun Peaks, near Kamloops, was the first ski hill in the province to open for season

$50k fine and community service for Vancouver Island tax evader

David Gonyea was given a nine-month conditional sentence

1st Indigenous woman to start Canadian airline looks to B.C.’s remote regions

Teara Fraser is the first Indigenous woman in Canada to start her own airline, called Iskwew Air

Most Read