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Clinic Connection: Suicide Prevention Day & Suicide Prevention Month

Hello, I am Cheryl Dechaine. Welcome to our first edition of Clinic Corner! I am a registered nurse, and I have been working for the Primary Care Network for the last 10 years. My role has been the chronic disease nurse at WFMP. Today, I’m writing about Suicide Prevention Month. It is a topic that resonates with me because I, like many of you, have experienced the lasting effects suicide has for a family.

Each year on September 10th, people across the world connect with each other by officially recognizing “World Suicide Day”.

Suicide is one of the top 10 causes of death in Canada. It is a serious public health issue with lasting, harmful effects on individuals, families, and communities.

World Suicide Prevention Day is a chance to promote understanding about suicide. For too long, the topic of suicide has been uncomfortable and taboo. No longer should suicide be connected to feelings of shame and judgement. This is a day that encourages openly sharing, learning, and supporting.

People who have lost someone to suicide often torment themselves, asking over and over, “what did I miss?”. But the truth is that suicide is a very complex issue involving numerous factors, there is not just a single cause.

Factors such as loss, addictions, childhood trauma, or other forms of trauma, depression, serious illness, and major life changes can cause people to feel overwhelmed and not able to cope. It is important to remember, it is not necessarily the nature of the loss or the stress that is as important as the individual’s perceptions or experience of these things that make the situation unbearable.

People who experience suicidal thoughts and feelings are suffering from tremendous emotional pain. They are feeling overwhelmed by feelings of hopelessness, despair, and helplessness. They feel their pain will never end and see suicide as the only way to stop the suffering. They reach a point where they see no value in living. They have no hope for the future.

Suicide occurs across all ages, incomes, ethnicities, and social factors. No one is immune.

Suicide is rarely impulsive. Most people who die by suicide give warnings of their intention. By increasing awareness, eliminating stigma & knowing what to do if you or someone you know experiences thoughts or behaviors associated with suicide, we can work together to prevent suicide. World Suicide Prevention Month & Prevention Day is about building skills and awareness before someone is in crisis. It is about saving lives.

Thank you for taking the time to read our first edition of Clinic Connection. Please keep connected with WFMP for information about suicide prevention and how to recognize some of the warning signs.

Cheryl Dechaine, RN.

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