September is Suicide Awareness Monthby
The #CHVCatchUp is a monthly series featuring the latest updates and news from Covenant House Vancouver (“CHV”). Miss604 is proud to be the Official Blog Partner of CHV. This month’s post has been written by Kristy Hayter.
Suicide Awareness Month and World Suicide Prevention Day
September is Suicide Awareness Month and World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) occurs on the 10th of September.
“Every 45 seconds someone takes their life; an estimated 703,000 people a year around the world. For each suicide approximately 135 people suffer intense grief or are otherwise affected, resulting in 108 million people, annually, who are profoundly impacted by suicidal behaviours. For every suicide, 25 people make a suicide attempt and many more have serious thoughts of suicide.”World Health Organization
Suicide Awareness Month and World Suicide Prevention Day are very important to us at Covenant House Vancouver. It is not uncommon for young people to experience suicidal thoughts amidst painful experiences in their lives.
“By creating hope through action, we can signal to people experiencing suicidal thoughts that there is hope and that we care and want to support them. It also suggests that our actions, no matter how big or small, may provide hope to those who are struggling. Lastly, it highlights the importance of setting suicide prevention as a priority public health agenda by countries, particularly where access to mental health services and availability of evidence-based interventions are already low.”World Health Organization
How Covenant House Vancouver Supports Youth Mental Health
Many of our youth living on the streets of Vancouver experience mental health concerns that are often left undiagnosed including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and borderline personality disorder. Often these youth cope by turning to substance use.
Someone around the globe dies by suicide every 40 seconds. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among Canadians under 25 years-old.World Health Organization
When it becomes apparent that a youth is struggling with a mental health or addiction, a Social Worker on our Case Management Team refers them to one of our in-house Registered Clinical Counsellors. The youth and their Clinical Counsellor will determine what supports the youth requires through a trusting, confidential relationship.
We believe that providing services to aid with these concurrent disorders due to past traumas to clients while they are young is key to preventing lifelong homelessness and for effectively managing symptoms as an adult.
Reach Out and Check In
Humans are like icebergs, you only get to see what is on the surface, but we often do not know what is going on just below the surface. This September, in honour of Suicide Awareness Month, take time to reach out and check in with friends and family.
The International Association for Suicide Prevention offers some resources for how to take action to prevent suicide. You can read “Take Time to Reach Out” the PDF includes signs of suicide to look out for, suggestions on how to reach out, and resources that you can access.
Since 1997, Covenant House Vancouver has been providing love and hope to youth experiencing homelessness. They are the premiere service provider of residential and outreach services for homeless and at-risk youth ages 16 to 24 in Vancouver. Follow Covenant House on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more info.