September 6, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
World Suicide Prevention Day – September 10
CMHA PEI marking the day by launching a new edition of the PEI Helping Tree & supporting community events
Charlottetown, PEI – Monday, September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD). The Canadian Mental Health Association/PEI Division (CMHA) is marking the day by launching a new resource and by supporting a number of community events that will encourage people to work together to prevent suicide.
This year’s WSPD theme is, “Working Together to Prevent Suicide”. On this day, people will gather in communities across Canada and around the world to show support for suicide prevention efforts, to remember and celebrate the lives of those who have died by suicide, to comfort those who grieve the loss of a loved one to suicide, and to strengthen their connections with each other.
For WSPD, CMHA is launching its newest edition of the PEI Helping Tree, a one-page flow chart designed to inform Islanders of the many helping resources available on PEI. Individuals who are experiencing a challenging life situation can use the Helping Tree to learn about community programs or services that may offer support or help to ease the burden of those difficulties.
CMHA’s suicide prevention coordinator, Pat Doyle explains, “Reaching out for help is an important step in coping with stress, distress, and for preventing a suicidal crisis. We hope to make that life-saving step a little easier with this resource. There are times in everyone’s life when we need to reach out for help – sometimes it’s just a matter of knowing how to reach them. The Helping Tree provides that information to individuals and families who are struggling and perhaps don’t know where to turn.”
The seventh edition of the PEI Helping Tree is ‘teal’ in color and includes many new community resources. It’s also bilingual, thanks to funding support from the PEI French Health Network. A larger, poster-sized version is also available, and can be displayed in high traffic areas, such as waiting rooms, staff areas and public foyers.
CMHA, in partnership with Health PEI, will be distributing copies of the PEI Helping Tree to health-related government offices and community organizations throughout the province in the coming weeks. Copies will also be available at CMHA offices in Charlottetown, Summerside and Alberton. A hyperlinked version can be downloaded from CMHA’s website (www. pei.cmha.ca).
Also in support of WSPD, everyone is welcome to attend a community event being held at Queen Elizabeth Park (end of Belvedere Avenue) in Charlottetown starting at 6:00 pm. The event will include music, sharing and will culminate with a ‘Circle of Hope’ to offer comfort and support to those impacted by suicide. All are welcome to attend.
CMHA is offering nine free community ‘safeTALK’ (safe=Suicide Alertness for Everyone) workshops across PEI, compliments of this spring’s, Moo Let’s Talk Day campaign. The safeTALK workshops start on September 10th to coincide with WSPD. Please call Tayte at 902-628-1648 or toll free 1-800-682-1648 to register.
CMHA’s President, Matt Younker says, “All of these suicide prevention efforts shine a light on this important issue, sending a message to those who are despairing and those who are grieving – they remind us all that there is help and there is hope.”
World Suicide Prevention Day is co-sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP). These organizations, along with CMHA, also encourage Islanders to display the warm light of a candle in their window at 8pm on September 10 to show support for suicide prevention efforts.
For more information about WSPD activities or CMHA’s Suicide Prevention efforts, please contact CMHA at 902-566-3034, toll free 1-800-682-1648, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit CMHA’s website at www. pei.cmha.ca
CMHA’s Communications Coordinator (902-628-3650)
CMHA’s Suicide Prevention Coordinator (902-628-3669)