Need help now?
If you or someone you know is in crisis now, please call 1-888-353-2273.
Every day 10 Canadians die by suicide, while 200 more attempt to take their lives.
The Interior Health region, which includes the North Okanagan, has one of the highest suicide rates in B.C.
According to the BC Coroners Services 131 people from the Interior Health region died by suicide in 2018. The death of one individual can be felt throughout the community and impact many others. Often guilt, fear and shame keep many individuals in the shadows when talking about mental health challenges, including suicide.
What is suicide?
Suicide is when someone ends their life on purpose. Most people who attempt or die by suicide don’t truly want to—instead, they see no other solution to the problems, difficult situations or painful emotions they are experiencing. They may feel overwhelmed, hopeless, helpless, desperate, trapped and alone, and may believe that these feelings will never end and that suicide is their only option.
Who is most at risk?
- The most at-risk group for suicide is men in their 40s and 50s, and men over the age of 80 have the highest rate of suicide.
- While women are three to four times more likely to attempt suicide than men, men are three times more likely to die by suicide than women. Men tend to use more immediately lethal means and are much less likely to reach out for help. However, any suicidal behaviour, whether lethal or not, originates in suffering and results in trauma.
- Suicide is the second-most common cause of death among young people.
- First Nations, Inuit and LGBT people have higher rates of suicide-related behaviours.
- Up to 90% of people who take their own lives are believed to have substance use problems or a mental illness such as depression or anxiety—whether diagnosed or not—at the time of their suicide.
What are some known risk factors for suicide?
- Having attempted suicide before
- A family history of suicidal behaviour
- A serious physical or mental illness
- Problems with drugs or alcohol
- A major loss, such as the death of a loved one, unemployment, or divorce
- Major life changes or transitions, like those experienced by teenagers and seniors
- Social isolation or lack of a support network
- Family violence
- Access to the means of suicide
CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE