Suicide is a permanent solution for a temporary problem.

It is more brave and couragous to choose life instead of death in depression regardless of the temporary problem.

More people died at their own hands in B.C. in 2006 than in motor-vehicle accidents.

The silent, self-inflicted epidemic has claimed over 10,000 lives in the province over the last 20 years.

There are roughly three men to every woman who dies by suicide

Overall suicide rates have declined by almost a third since the ’80s.


B.C.’s No. 1 suicide magnet: the Lions Gate Bridge.


Why?  A simple answer rarely comes, according Dr. Raymond Lam, head of the Mood Disorders Centre at the University of B.C. Hospital. The problem is that each individual’s road to suicide is cobbled with a different and enigmatic combination of stressful life events, mood and psychiatric disorders, suicidal ideation, impulsivity, access to lethal means and, sometimes, imitation of others who have killed themselves.

The only truly universal factor among the departed is an overwhelming sense of hopelessness.

“Most people who end up dying by suicide don’t seek help,” said Lam.

Eighty per cent of those who die by suicide are clinically depressed, he said, while the remaining 20 per cent may simply be acting on an intoxicated impulse or suffering from a personality disorder.

According to Jennifer White, a former suicide prevention counsellor with 20 years in the field who now teaches at the University of Victoria, the most important thing for suicidal people to realize is that their feelings are temporary.

Myth No. 1: Self-harming behaviour or suicide attempts are just cries for attention

WHITE: This myth is probably one of the most dangerous ones, because the typical thing to do if you think someone’s trying to get attention is to just ignore it. What I like to say is it’s an effort to communicate distress and pain. When we see it that way then people who are on the receiving end are more likely to stay connected than to ignore and dismiss us.

Myth No. 2: It’s none of my business/there’s nothing I can do

WHITE: The thing we want to get people to do is to notice self-harming behaviour, and then to ask people directly, “I’m worried about you, are you thinking about suicide?” But people are either afraid that they’re going to make things worse or that they’re going to upset someone. My experience is that most people sense a feeling of relief that someone’s paying attention.

Myth No. 3: Suicidal thoughts and mental illness are signs of weakness

WHITE: These kinds of ideas really get in the way of people getting help, because if they’ve received messages from other people that they must be crazy or they must be weak, it further isolates them. We need to recognize that experiences of depression and stress and loss are part of our full human experience. As a community and as a society we need to respond with empathy and compassion and support.

Myth No. 4: Those who talk about suicide won’t actually do it

WHITE: Actually, the reverse is true. Many people who have died by suicide often talked about it before they died. From all the studies that have been done in this area, the presence of a previous attempt is the most significant indicator, in that it’s the factor most strongly associated with a suicide death.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s