Participants at last year’s ‘Be the Light’ evening joined together to bring awareness to and support for suicide prevention in the North Okanagan. (Blue Springs Photography)

Vernon’s annual World Suicide Day event breaks down stigma

Interior Health region has higher suicide rates than most of B.C.

Every day, 10 Canadians die by suicide, while 200 more attempt to kill themselves.

The Interior Health region, which includes the North Okanagan, has one of the highest youth suicide rates in B.C. Thirty-three youths between 10 and 18 died by suicide since 2013, according to the BC Coroners Service.

“Guilt, fear and shame are powerful feelings that can keep us in the shadows when talking about mental health challenges including suicide,” said Julia Payson, executive director for Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Vernon and District branch.

“When we publicly share our thoughts and feelings about suicide, it lessens the stigma and opens opportunities for others to get the help they need, whether it be reaching out to a loved one, medical professional, co-worker or the Crisis Line.”

Tuesday, Sept. 10, is World Suicide Prevention Day, designed to bring awareness to the needs of people at risk of suicide, suicide attempt survivors and people bereaved by suicide.

READ MORE: CMHA Vernon offers suicide support group

Locally, CMHA Vernon will be hosting the third annual Be the Light evening at the Polson Park bandshell from 6 to 7:30 p.m. as an opportunity to join together as a community to remember those we have lost to suicide and support those who have survived.

“The more opportunities we provide for people to reach out to, the healthier our community will become and we can hope to see a decline in these tragedies that affect so many lives,” Payson said.

Be the Light aims to reduce the shame and stigma that often surrounds suicide to allow for hope, healing and remembrance.

Prior to the event, CMHA will be providing supplies to decorate memorial lanterns at 5:15 p.m. Participants can feel free to bring photos to include on the lanterns in memory of their loved ones.

Afterward, community members will share words of hope, remembrance and support, followed by a short walk to the commemorative tree, which was planted in remembrance of those in the community lost to suicide.

The event is open to everyone and registration is not required.

READ MORE: CMHA Vernon mixing it for Mental Health Week

For more details please call the Canadian Mental Health Association at 250-542-3114 ext. 226 or email at support@cmhavernon.ca and help reduce the shame and stigma that surrounds suicide to bring hope, healing and remembrance.

READ MORE: Neighbours get answers to ‘mysterious’ truck fire in Vernon


@VernonNews
roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

RDOS board remuneration, expenses come to $500,000

Costs presented in Statement of Financial Information

Man cycles across B.C. Interior for sobriety

Vancouver Island Resident Mat Fee is approaching the final phase of his cross-Canada bike journey to raise awareness about addiction recovery.

Twenty day search for missing Labradoodle ends with tears of joy

After twenty days of worry, thousands of kilometers driven, hundreds of social… Continue reading

Affordable housing project in Okanagan Falls ready for tenants

South Skaha Place now accepting applications for affordable housing units

Similkameen orchardists file lawsuit over ancestral remains site

Lawsuit alleges individuals entered the property by force

VIDEO: Prosecutors to consider charges in human-caused 2017 B.C. wildfire

RCMP forwards results of its investigation into Elephant Hill fire to Crown counsel

Shuswap Dungeons and Dragons Club on a roll

Unanticipated public interest prompts additional campaigns at Salmon Arm library

Sagmoen publication ban lifted

The publication ban on the voir dire of Curtis Sagmoen was lifted by Justice Alison Beames Tuesday

Summerland Ornamental Gardens holds fall plant sale

Event will be held Saturday, Sept. 21

Cooperative approach urged to resolve B.C.’s forest crisis

Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce calling on elected officials to set aside differences and find solutions

Salmon Arm RCMP see upswing in thefts of, and from, vehicles

Police report thieves prowling at night, entering unlocked vehicles

RCMP investigating thefts from Shuswap mail boxes

Salmon Arm residents with compromised boxes asked to pick up mail at post office

Cooperative approach urged to resolve B.C.’s forest crisis

Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce calling on elected officials to set aside differences and find solutions

Police investigate after intoxicated teens clash with security at B.C. fair

18-year-old woman arrested and RCMP looking at possible assault in Victoria-area fall fair incident

Most Read