Sept. 10th marks World Suicide Prevention Day

‘This is an issue we can’t turn our backs on.’

Lynne Jenkinson, executive director of Flagstaff Family and Community Services, delivers opening remarks at the discussion about the topic of suicide on Sept. 8th outside the Alliance Community Hall. Kevin J. Sabo photo

By Kevin J. Sabo

For the Advance

Sept. 10th is recognized worldwide as World Suicide Prevention Day.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada suicide is an issue in the country, with around 4,000 people per year dying at their own hand.

Of the suicides around one-third are among people 45-59 years of age and it is the second leading cause of death among youth and young adults ages 15 to 24 years.

To honour the day in support of this very important, and highly stigmatized, topic, elected officials from the Flagstaff County region came together at several venues in the region on Sept. 8th to discuss this topic.

Among the dignitaries present at the Alliance conversation were regional MLA Jackie Lovely, Town of Killam Mayor Ben Kellert, Village of Alliance Mayor Josephine Mackenzie, Flagstaff Family and Community Services Executive Director Lynne Jenkinson, and Kimmy Krochak Bonnett of KimmyEnergy, a life coaching organization in the Flagstaff region.

“This is an issue we can’t turn our backs on,” said Bonnett.

“Mental illness may not be preventable, but it is treatable.”

Mental illness is treatable through a variety of ways including talk-therapy and medication.

As unpleasant as the thoughts and feelings surrounding suicide are, they are not completely uncommon, with nearly 12 per cent of the population reporting thoughts of suicide at least once in their lifetime, and 2.5 per cent of the population having reported having those feelings in the past year.

If you or someone else is feeling suicidal, supports are available, and can be reached by calling Alberta Healthlink at 811, or the province-wide mental health helpline at 1-877-303-2642.

In an emergency situation, always call 911.

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