From Mental Health Commission of Canada

Talking about suicide isn’t easy — the most important conversations rarely are — but as the Association québécoise de prévention du suicide (AQPS) reminds us, talking can save lives.

Increased stress, anxiety, and depression are all side-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and for some people, this translates to feelings of hopelessness, despair, or even suicidal thoughts. That’s why the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) is releasing a resource to guide those difficult but extremely important conversations in the workplace.

“As the pandemic wears on, many of us are increasingly isolated, and our workplaces are taking on even greater significance,” said Louise Bradley, president and CEO of the MHCC. “For many people, colleagues have also become an informal social support network, but we don’t inherently know how to broach sensitive topics or where to find information to support a co-worker.”

Suicide Prevention in the Workplace was written to help navigate challenging conversations, explained Liz Horvath, the MHCC’s manager of workplace mental health.

“We wrote it to be broad enough for a variety of workplaces (including our own), and it includes tips for protecting mental health for managers, co-workers, and people who work with the public,” she said.

Today, eleven lives will be lost to suicide in Canada. Tomorrow doesn’t have to be that way. “Together, we can prevent suicide, but first we must be willing to talk about it,” said Bradley.

If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide, please contact 1-833-456-4566 or your nearest distress centre. If it is an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to your local emergency department.

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