World Suicide Prevention Day is observed on September 10 each year to promote worldwide action to prevent suicides. Various events and activities are held during this occasion to raise awareness that suicide is a major preventable cause of premature death.

World Suicide Prevention Day gives organizations, government agencies, and individuals a chance to promote awareness about suicide, mental illnesses associated with suicide, as well as suicide prevention.

Terry Romanow the Director of Mental Health and Addictions out of Weyburn, "I believe that some places are having a week-long observance, but the actual day is Monday, September 10th."

"Well, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has picked a theme this year, the theme is Working Together to Prevent Suicide. The Day and also the week is important to promote understanding about suicide and highlight effective prevention of suicide."

Nearly 3000 people on average commit suicide daily, according to the World Health Organization. For every person who completes a suicide, 20 or more may attempt to end their lives. About one million people die by suicide each year. Suicide is a major preventable cause of premature death which is influenced by psycho-social, cultural and environmental risk factors that can be prevented through worldwide responses that address these main risk factors. There is strong evidence indicating that adequate prevention can reduce suicide rates.  Romanow adds, "Anyone can have thoughts of suicide, and anyone can help them. You don't have to be a professional to help somebody that is at risk for suicide. It's important to get some education."

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If you are interested in training Romanow adds, "People who have thoughts of suicide, who attempt suicide or die by suicide, don't really want to die. They just want the pain of the life their living to end. They don't really see any other way out. So as far as helping people, there is education that people can get. In the southeast area, which is the former Sun Country Health Region, we do offer along with the Canadian Mental Health Association the Assist Training. Which is applied suicide intervention skills training, and that's a two-day workshop in suicide first-aid and its open to anyone in the communities to attend. We also offer Mental Health first-aid basic training and Mental Health first aid training for adults who interact with youth. And these trainings are two days as well, to give people the knowledge and skills to assist someone in a Mental Health Crisis. It's open to community organizations, agencies, schools, health care workers, police, and RCMP, EMS, community members, or pretty much anyone who would like to take that training."

In regards to signs, "If they're talking about it if they're saying that theirs no purpose to their life anymore, they will sometimes come out and say they don't want to live anymore. They might be giving away objects to people that are very close to them, or important things."

Romanow goes over the preventative measures already put in place, "In the Saskatchewan Health Authority, you know it's important to have the date to recognize suicide prevention day. But we look at suicide prevention on a daily basis, it's not just one day a year. The Saskatchewan Health Authority has a provincial suicide risk protocol in place. That is a standardized screening for suicide risk for all clients that come into our services. As well if anyone is at risk, we do have complete suicide risk assessment for those people as well. And this protocol is used Provincially and every former health region in our province."

World Suicide Prevention Day, which first started in 2003, is annually held on September 10 each year and it aims to:

-Raise awareness that suicide is preventable.
-Improve education about suicide.
-Spread information about suicide awareness.
-Decrease stigmatization regarding suicide.

If you know of someone who is in need, "You can help them find the hope in their lives, or get them to the help that they need."

If you would like help or know of someone who needs help you can call, Mental Health and Addictions at 306-842-8665 or Canadian Mental Health Association in Weyburn at 306-842-7959.

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