By Bobinec, Greg on September 11, 2018.
In everyones lives, there are individuals who suffer from the silent and constricting state of mind that is filled with self-hatred, rejection and hopelessness.
In Canada around 4,000 people every year take their own lives because they feel they are a burden to society, and in desperation see death as a way to escape their overwhelming pain and anguish.
In an effort to spread awareness and prevention methods, the Community Interagency Suicide Prevention Council (CISP) helped honour World Suicide Prevention Day in Lethbridge at the public library on Monday. Eight presenters used their personal and professional stories of how they have persevered and helped others get through the dark demon of depressive thought.
Nichole Covey has been a presenter at the World Suicide Prevention Day in Lethbridge the past six years and shared her stories about the struggles she has faced in her personal life, as well as her experiences of trauma working as a police officer for the Lethbridge Police Service, and as a volunteer firefighter.
“In the past I have sat on the CISP council because suicide prevention is such an important piece for me,” says Covey. “I have had those experiences and I want to make sure that those experiences are used to help others, and if sharing my story even if there are only four people in that room or if there are 100 people, it can potentially make a difference.”
Covey spoke about the lack of communication in public service sectors about depression and suicidal thoughts provoked by situations experienced in the field, and notes it can happen to anyone. Inspiring people with her words, Covey encourages people to open a dialogue about the disease, seek out a support system, and find resources to persevere through the pain.
“This event needs to be for any and all people so that our communities in general can start being more comfortable talking about this topic because that is the only way that we are going to help people,” says Covey.
“Absolutely, reach out to your support system if you have one, some people don’t, and in that case try and go to a family doctor, or try to find someone to reach out to whether that it a crisis line or someone at a professional agency that can at least get you connected with resources.”
Over nine years, CISP has been holding the open event to educate and inform people about the resources available in the community, and working on making the conversation surrounding suicide a normality in society.
“The message is about suicide prevention and that it is preventable,” says Brad Moser, CISP Member, Registered Psychologist and Family Counselor.
“It is important to speak out about it because it is a taboo topic, and in society it is a thing that is kept silent but it needs to be talked about. When people have thoughts about suicide they tend to isolate themselves, so we need them to be able to talk about it and reach out so we can connect them to resources.”
Public spectators listened to presenters from the Centre for Suicide Prevention, Alberta Health Services, Lethbridge Family Services, Lethbridge Elder Abuse Response Network, and community members talking about suicide within media, relationships and work life.
Resources are available in the community for anyone to access. Individuals with suicidal thoughts should call Health Link at 811 or the Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2724, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Distress Line of Southwestern Alberta number is 1-888-787-2880 and the First Nations and Inuit Hope for wellness Help line is 1-855-242-2210.
“Continue to push through because there absolutely can be better things on the other side,” says Covey. “I also know when you are in that moment, people can tell you that a hundred times and you don’t understand it or process it, but all you have to do is just take it one minute at a time.”
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