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 to study sites for composting facility

Penticton and Okanagan Falls landfills will be examined

Summerland grocery store offers warm atmosphere, community service

Nesters Market has been involved in numerous initiatives within Summerland

Codling moths remain a problem for Okanagan apple growers

Problem areas for pest include Summerland, Penticton and Naramata

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen works to control mosquito populations

Control efforts in the region have been starting earlier each year

Summerland Ladies Club competes for Rental Cup

One-day golf tournament sponsored by Summerland Rental Centre

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Climate protesters temporarily shut down road in downtown Kelowna

Protesters are demanding politicans take action to stop climate change

Security footage shows grab and go of cash in South Okanagan business break-in

Marla Black is asking for the public’s help in identifying the man who broke into Winemaster

Vehicle taken by gunpoint in South Okanagan carjacking recovered

Penticton RCMP said the criminal investigation remains very active and ongoing

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

Most Read