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Preventing death by suicide: Creating hope through action


A sign displaying the different avenues of support.

Content warning: Suicide is a sensitive topic that can trigger difficult emotions. If you are struggling to cope right now, help is available 24 hours a day, every day of the week, from the following resources.

General resources Indigenous resources

Mental health support line

  • 310-6789 (no area code)
  • No wait, connects with local crisis line

Kids help phone

Crisis line

KUU-US Indigenous crisis line 

Hope for wellness help line 

Métis crisis line

  Call 9-1-1 in an emergency (if available in your community) 

September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day. This year’s theme is “creating hope through action.” Suicide can be prevented, and we can create a world where there is hope for the future. 

Multiple actions needed to prevent suicide
Multiple actions needed to prevent suicide 

Important mental health interventions for suicide prevention include counselling, outreach, and crisis lines. Hospital and emergency services are also crucial for people coping with serious mental illness and recovering from suicide attempts. But what about preventing suicidal thoughts and actions before they happen? 

Suicide prevention requires multiple strategies that include formal mental health services as well as informal support from family, friends, and community members.  Community-level activities and programs linked to reduced suicidal thoughts and behaviours include:

  • Reducing stigma around seeking help for mental health problems
  • Taking actions that support resilience and coping (e.g., youth training in problem-solving; substance use disorder prevention; and creating supportive environments where people have adequate housing, nutrition, and employment)
  • Restricting access to the means of suicide such as guns, poisons, or pills
  • Taking actions that reduce risk factors for the occurrence of severe mental distress (e.g., prevention of childhood trauma and abuse; poverty reduction; and eliminating discrimination against sexual and gender minorities)

Workplace strategies are also important, as shown by the remarkable efforts of Mark Wilson, a resident of Prince George, who brought the Centre for Suicide Prevention Buddy Up program to his workplace in support of mental wellness.

Promoting life through interconnection

Life promotion is a complementary, strengths-based approach to suicide prevention and respects the wisdom of Indigenous cultures by recognizing the interconnections between mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Rather than just focusing on reducing deaths, it involves improvements to quality of life and establishing a sense of purpose, meaning, belonging, and hope for the future.

Read more about life promotion from the Thunderbird Partnership Foundation and First Peoples Wellness Circle.

We’re all in this togetherSupportive Directions

Let’s work together to promote mental wellness and prevent the tragic loss of life due to suicide. To get involved in suicide prevention and life promotion activities in your community, connect with a local community-based organization. See also the Centre for Suicide Prevention resource: togethertolive.ca

Additional resources

For those experiencing the loss of a loved one due to suicide, please see these resources:

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health challenges, is thinking about suicide, or has attempted suicide or self-harm in the past, please refer to the numbers at the top of the page and consider these additional resources:

All youth Indigenous youth Parents Adults Seniors

Northern Health resources

HealthLink BC resources

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