Suicides are preventable, and we all have a role in saving lives.

Those are the words of B.C.’s minister of mental health and addictions, Sheila Malcolmson, on World Suicide Prevention Day.

The world marks the day today.

“I have deep appreciation for the work of our care providers, community partners and families who care for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including thoughts of suicide. Suicide does not discriminate and people from all walks of life can be at risk,” she said.

“Suicide and suicidal thoughts can be hard to talk about. That’s why it is so important to reach out to someone who is struggling, let them know you care and help them connect to resources. Nobody should have to face mental health challenges alone.”

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Malcolmson says that if you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, “there is help.” 

In an emergency, call 911, 1 800 SUICIDE for crisis support anytime, or 310-6789 (no area code needed) for emotional support or information. 

Indigenous people can call the Kuu-us crisis line (1 800 588-8717) for culturally specific assistance.

Malcolmson says the province is investing $61 million to improve the access and quality of mental health services, including better access to suicide prevention services.

“Compassionate, non-judgmental support is vital when someone is struggling. Start courageous conversations with the people you love, let them know that someone cares and help is available.”

According to a 2019 World Health Organization report, suicide is the third leading cause of death globally among 15 to 29-year-olds.

Roughly 11 people will end their lives by suicide today in Canada, and an average of 275 people attempt it every day.