“You’re important to us.
Suicide is not an option.”

The MHCC was proud to lend its support to Québec’s 26th annual Suicide Prevention Week, hosted by the Association québécoise de prévention du suicide (AQPS). Michel Rodrigue, Vice President, Organizational Performance and Public Affairs, attended the media launch.

The theme of this year’s awareness week, which ran from January 31 to February 6, was “You are important to us. Suicide is not an option.”

In an effort to broaden the support network for individuals at risk of suicide, this year’s events brought a special focus on how workplaces can help prevent suicide when employers and employees take an active role in their co-workers’ psychological well-being.

“The workplace can foster a sense of purpose,” says Ed Mantler, Vice President, Programs and Priorities, who oversees the MHCC’s anti-stigma initiatives. “Beyond that, it can foster a sense of community. These are valuable tools in suicide prevention.”  

He explained that commitment to suicide prevention within communities, schools and workplaces will help reinforce the message that “suicide is not an option.”

The critical nature of this work is underscored by reports from the province’s public health institute, which indicates there were more than 1,100 deaths by suicide in Québec in 2013.

“We need to look beyond statistics and realize these are lives lost,” says Mantler. “Suicide is preventable and the only way forward is for us to come together as a community and work to save lives.”

The Suicide Prevention Week program included a range of activities supported by organizations across Québec.

Events included:

  • The sixth annual outdoor challenge, Défi Plein Air Des Neiges, presented by the Fondation prévention du suicide du Bas-Saint-Laurent.
  • A series of video segments from the creators of the French soap opera, Yamaska, featuring actors calling on citizens to get involved and encouraging those at risk of suicide to seek help. The videos also promoted the 1-866-APPELLE help line and encouraged donations to the cause through the purchase of “You’re important to us. Suicide is not an option” branded clothespins and other awareness collateral on the AQPS website.
  • The release of a song and video, “Regarde autour,” as a hymn to life for the week. The song is available on iTunes and all download proceeds will be donated to AQPS.

Prevention activities also took place via social media and the hashtag #tesimportant was trending on Twitter.

Get involved by sharing your message of awareness and hope on the MHCC’s online suicide prevention wall.