Find Your Local CMHA | NEED HELP NOW? Call 310-6789 in BC

You are currently on the:

CMHA National

Visit our provincial websites

Suicide Prevention and Intervention

Suicide is a desperate attempt to escape suffering that has become unbearable. Blinded by feelings of self-loathing, hopelessness, and isolation, a suicidal person can’t see any way of finding relief except through death. But despite their desire for the pain to stop, most suicidal people are deeply conflicted about ending their own lives. They wish there was an alternative to suicide, but they just can’t see one. Take any suicidal talk or behavior seriously. It’s not just a warning sign that the person is thinking about suicide—it’s a cry for help.

Suicide warning signs include:

Talking about suicide – Any talk about suicide, dying, or self-harm, such as “I wish I hadn’t been born,” “If I see you again…” and “I’d be better off dead.”

Seeking out lethal means – Seeking access to guns, pills, knives, or other objects that could be used in a suicide attempt.

Preoccupation with death – Unusual focus on death, dying, or violence. Writing poems or stories about death.

No hope for the future – Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and being trapped (“There’s no way out”). Belief that things will never get better or change.

Self-loathing, self-hatred – Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, shame, and self-hatred. Feeling like a burden (“Everyone would be better off without me”).

Getting affairs in order – Making out a will. Giving away prized possessions. Making arrangements for family members.

Saying goodbye – Unusual or unexpected visits or calls to family and friends. Saying goodbye to people as if they won’t be seen again.

Withdrawing from others – Withdrawing from friends and family. Increasing social isolation. Desire to be left alone.

Self-destructive behavior – Increased alcohol or drug use, reckless driving, unsafe sex. Taking unnecessary risks as if they have a “death wish.”

Sudden sense of calm – A sudden sense of calm and happiness after being extremely depressed can mean that the person has made a decision to attempt suicide.

The World Health Organization estimates that over 700 000 people die each year from suicide. What drives so many individuals to take their own lives? To those who are not in the grips of suicidal depression and despair, it’s difficult to understand what drives so many individuals to take their own lives. But a suicidal person is in so much pain that they can see no other option.

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide help is available, please reach out and tell someone what is going on.

Crisis Line of Northern BC

250-563-1214
1-888-562-1214

Youth Crisis Line

250-564-8336 (text)
1-888-564-8336

BC Suicide Line
1-800-SUICIDE

1-800-784-2433

Crisis Text Line

Text HOME to 686868

Kids Help Phone

1-800-668-6868

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-8255

Trans Lifeline

877-330-6366

Indian Residential School Survivors Society Crisis Line
1-800-721-0066

The KUU-US Crisis Line Society – Provides a First Nations and Indigenous-specific crisis line available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, toll-free from anywhere in British Columbia. The KUU-US Crisis Line Society also provides a number of local services in the Port Alberni area including the Survivor of Suicide Peer Support Group, Housing Registry, and the A.H.O.P.E Program.
1-800-588-8717 (toll-free)
Youth Line: 250-723-2040
Adult Line: 250-723-4050 

Native Youth Crisis Hotline –Answered by staff 24/7. Available throughout Canada and US.
1-877-209-1266 

Métis Crisis Line – A service of Métis Nation British Columbia.
1-833-MétisBC (1-833-638-4722)


Heartbeat
– A group for mutual support of those who have lost a loved one through suicide.
Sandra – Phone #250-961-9330 & email: [email protected]

Learn more by attending a Living Works Course

                         Living Works Suicide and Intervention Courses:

       Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training ASIST – In-person 

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is for everyone 16 or older, regardless of prior experience, who wants to be able to provide suicide first aid. Shown by major studies to significantly reduce suicidality, the ASIST model teaches effective intervention skills while helping to build suicide prevention networks in the community.

Virtually anyone age 16 or older, regardless of prior experience or training, can become an ASIST-trained caregiver. Developed in 1983 and regularly updated to reflect improvements in knowledge and practice, ASIST is the world’s leading suicide intervention workshop. During the two-day interactive session, participants learn to intervene and help prevent the immediate risk of suicide. Over 1,000,000 people have taken the workshop, and studies have proven that the ASIST method helps reduce suicidal feelings for those at risk.

Workshop features:

·        Presentations and guidance from two LivingWorks registered trainers

·        A scientifically proven intervention model

·        Powerful audiovisual learning aids

·        Group discussions

·        Skills practice and development

·        A balance of challenge and safety

       SafeTALK – In person

SafeTALK is a half-day alertness training that prepares anyone over the age of 15, regardless of prior experience or training, to become a suicide-alert helper. Most people with thoughts of suicide don’t truly want to die, but are struggling with the pain in their lives. Through their words and actions, they invite help to stay alive. safeTALK-trained helpers can recognize these invitations and take action by connecting them with life-saving intervention resources, such as caregivers trained in ASIST.

To find out when the next public course is being held go to our events page or contact the Manager of Education and Projects, Shirley Hogan at [email protected] or call 250.564.8644 local 210

Skip to content