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For World Suicide Prevention Day: 19% of Distress Centre’s online contacts are suicide related

For World Suicide Prevention Day: 19% of Distress Centre’s online contacts are suicide related

World Suicide Prevention Day 2017

Last year Distress Centre Calgary responded to 113,975 calls, emails, chats, texts and counselling requests from people in distress. From January 1st to July 31st, 2017 suicide presented on 3,925 calls which is 8.5% of our total call volume to date. On our online crisis service suicide presented itself on 19% or 956 chats, emails and texts as of July 31st.

September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day and Distress Centre wants anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts or struggling with their mental health to reach out for help. We offer 24 hour crisis support (403-266-HELP), daily online chat via the home page of our website and professional counselling.

Every day in Alberta more than one person will die as a result of a suicide. Suicide is consistently a leading cause of death among Albertans and Alberta typically has a higher rate of suicide than the national average.

Our highly trained volunteers and professional staff are here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We save lives and sometimes we just help someone through a really bad day.

As the economy slowly begins to recover, people continue to struggle to find work and to make ends meet. The effect that losing a job or the fear of losing a job can have on your mental health is significant. These stressors and worries can create a sense of hopelessness so people start to see suicide as an option.

Not all of Distress Centre contacts are related to the economy or job loss, but it is clear that the present climate in Calgary continues to have a significant effect on the mental health of Calgarians.

Distress Centre’s counselling department is experiencing a 16% increase in face-to-face counselling sessions averaging 100 requests for counselling per month. Anxiety, suicide and employment are top issues with our clients, and David Kirby, Clinical Services Manager at Distress Centre, says that the three go hand-in-hand with an economic downturn.

“We would expect to see suicide as a major concern in periods of a recession or unemployment because they tend to go together,” David explained. “There is no clear understanding of why unemployment or recessions give rise to higher suicide rates. It’s very individual, but ultimately it connects with hopelessness.”

Are you having thoughts of suicide? Talk to us.

In the spirit of respect, reciprocity and truth, Distress Centre Calgary would like to honour and acknowledge Moh’kinsstis, and the traditional Treaty 7 territory and oral practices of the Blackfoot confederacy: Siksika, Kainai, Piikani, as well as the Îyâxe Nakoda and Tsuut’ina nations. We acknowledge that this territory is home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3 within the historical Northwest Métis homeland. Finally, we acknowledge all Nations – Indigenous and non – who live, work and play on this land, and who honour and celebrate this territory.