New local website offers support for suicide survivors
Launched with a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, lmspc.ca is the only website in London-Middlesex dedicated to increasing suicide awareness and education. The website points users to resources for help when dealing with suicidal thoughts, and offers insight into what happens after a suicide attempt, including leaving the emergency room, talking to family and friends, and the journey to recovery.
Suicide is a difficult subject to talk about, and according to lmspc.ca, “risk of suicide death is highest in regions where stigma is most prevalent. The stigma and taboo surrounding suicide not only prevent help-seeking behaviours, but also precipitate suicide deaths.” The LMSPC hopes that the site will break some of that stigma and bring the issue out into the open.
The website also offers information on how people can help to create a suicide-aware community. One way to do this is by completing the LMSPC’s safeTALK, a three-hour training session that teaches people to identify individuals who have thoughts of suicide and connect them with community resources. Since it began in September of last year, nearly 800 people have been trained in safeTALK. Upcoming training sessions are being held on September 26 and 28 – see the website for details and to sign up.
“We hope that, in some small way, [the website] brings hope and healing,” said Bonnie Williams, chair of the Suicide Prevention Council. Suicide is a community issue, and “we are all part of the solution.”
The website launched on the same day as the LMSPC’s eighth annual Lifting the Silence walk in Victoria Park. Brent Shea, Deputy Chief, Operations for London Police Service, said the two events were “important events for educating our community.”
“I’ve witnessed that depression does not discriminate,” he said, citing the thousands of tragedies he has seen in London over the last few years. “[This is] a very, very real issue for our community.”
For more information and to connect with community resources, go to lmspc.ca.