Generally, children and youth exhibit
warning signs when distressed and
contemplating taking their own life.
(See sidebar: What to look for. What to do.)
“Any warning signs need your consid-
A CHALLENGE FOR SOCIETY
eration,” stresses Sonya Jakubec, an
associate professor at the Mount Royal
University School of Nursing. “All signs
need to be taken seriously. If things aren’t
going well, don’t just hope things will
get better. Pay attention and take action.”
She adds: “There’s an elephant in the
room. Mental health issues are involved
in almost 90 per cent of deaths by suicide.
Mental health and mental illness need
our attention to prevent suicide.”
Preventing suicide is a big challenge,
which we have to face as a society.
“There is so much stigma around mental
health and suicide,” says Joan Roy, director
of operations and human resources,
Distress Centre Calgary.
“To really make a difference in the
lives of children and youth,” Roy says,
“adults need to be able to talk about
mental health and suicide with kids—
at home and at school—in the same
way they talk about drugs, bullying
Distress Centre Calgary:
Connec Teen line:
Kids Help Phone:
Mobile Response Team:
Health Link Alberta:
Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training:
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