By Jean-Christian Gagnon, PSP Ottawa Health Promotion –
In this final article of the Suicide Awareness Campaign series, we want to hear about what you do to promote life in your community, and what new information you learned through the campaign over the last few weeks (if you haven’t had the chance to take a look at our campaign website yet, click here – new content is now available). We invite you to share your thoughts with us in the comment box below or by email.
Below is a brief recap of the important topics addressed in this year’s campaign with a final piece of advice:
- Know what suicide is about, help reduce the stigma. Suicide is a complicated issue and we can all benefit from a greater collective awareness to help reduce its incidence. Test your knowledge through a Myth or Fact quiz here. You can also learn about the dos and don’ts when talking about suicide here.
- Know the warning signs, early intervention is key. Regardless of rank, gender, age or other factors, remember that everyone has to navigate through the highs and lows of life, and that no one is immune to mental health problems. Be mindful of changes in attitudes and behaviours in yourself and in others around you to ensure that people get the help they need. Have a look at our website under “Warning Signs” for more info.
- Build your resilience by strengthening protective factors. There are a number of factors that help prevent suicide. A good exercise is to assess the degree to which some important factors are integrated within our current lifestyle and act upon those needing more attention. Scroll down our website to learn more.
- Opening up the conversation can go a long way. On a final and important note, TALKING ABOUT SUICIDE SAVES LIVES. It is no coincidence that the campaign’s slogan (taken from the AQPS) highlights the necessity of talking openly and honestly about suicide if we wish to reduce suicide risk in our community. Don’t shy away from important conversations and know that you don’t need to be an expert to help. The ACE model provides a simple method to intervene with someone showing signs of suicide risk.
ACE is for ASK, CARE, and ESCORT
The ACE model is designed to empower you to be part of the solution. It encourages you to question directly and honestly anyone who exhibits signs of distress that may indicate thoughts of suicide.
To learn more, contact your Health Promotion Team and register for a Mental Fitness and Suicide Awareness workshop.
If you are in distress or concerned about someone, here are some resources that are at your disposal:
Family Information Line 1-800-866-4546
CF Member Assistance Program 1-800-268-7708
CF Mental Health Services (NCR) 613-945-1111
DND/NPF Civilian Resources
Employee Assistance Service (DND Public Service Employees) 1-800-268-7708
Employee Assistance Program (NPF Employees) 1-800-361-5676
NCR Community Resources
Mental Health Crisis Line 1-866-996-0991
1-866-APPELLE (Québec) 1-866-277-3553
This post is also available in: Français (French)