Tomorrow, in marking International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) remembers those who have died by suicide, and the people — family members, friends, and colleagues — left behind. Having lost my closest friend to suicide, I have often spoken of my fellow survivors as a “secret society of grievers.” Too often, we are burdened not only by grief and loss but also by the stigma and shame that shroud deaths by suicide.
Throughout the month of November, the MHCC has been encouraging people to leave a message on our #sharehope wall, a curated collection of hopeful and healing thoughts for those who may be struggling. Our November Catalyst also includes an article with helpful information on how to share your story safely.
Because we know that loved ones left behind are at higher risk of suicide themselves, and also that ways and means exist to prevent it, if you are experiencing thoughts of suicide, reach out to your local distress centre and ask trusted family members or friends to help you make a safety plan. Tomorrow, as we remember those we have lost to suicide, let’s redouble our commitment to preventing it.
For our part, the MHCC is planting Roots of Hope, a community-based suicide prevention program, in eight communities across the country. From training care providers to leveraging the power of peer support, Roots of Hope is knitting together a social safety net that benefits us all.
If there is one message I want to share, it’s this: there is hope and there is help — and there is no shame in asking for it. Our toolkit for survivors of suicide loss is a good place to start.
President and CEO, Mental Health Commission of Canada
Mental Health Commission of Canada, Media Relations
613.683.3748 / firstname.lastname@example.org