World Suicide Prevention Day
September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day. A day for us to make time for a subject that may make many of us uncomfortable. We do this together, as a community, to support and acknowledge each of our experiences.
The Don Wright Faculty of Music is honoured to host the London, Ontario location of Mysterious Barricades: A Cross-Canada Concert for Suicide Awareness, Prevention and Hope on campus in von Kuster Hall. Complete details for this concert and 15 others to be performed from sunrise in St. John's, Newfoundland to sunset in Victoria, BC plus detailed background information on this important subject is available at http://www.mysteriousbarricades.org/
All concerts across Canada are free and will be livestreamed. All are welcome. We encourage the Western community to join us in person or online - including a moment of silence dedicated to those we have lost and their loved ones.
The Three C’s of Suicide Prevention
The International Association of Suicide Prevention (IASP) states that suicide prevention involves connecting, communicating, and caring.
Connect with those who are struggling or have struggled with suicide. Listen to them and help them find the support they need. Supports on campus include Student Health Services, Psychological Services, or Campus Police (911) if immediate help is needed.
Don’t be afraid to talk to someone who is at risk of suicide. Speak openly about suicide to break the stigma. Make sure to do so in a conscientious way, especially if you are part of the media.
Taking time to care for yourself and for those around you can help prevent suicide. Support those
Living Well at Western
Slow Down - One thing at a time:
Use your cell phone during quiet time alone, rather than when it will distract you and add extra mental noise during lecture, social time or meals. Focus during lecture and make notes of things to explore later - avoid search engines and browsing in class.
Regular exercise will help your emotional health as well as help keep you physically fit. A good stretch can wake you up more than caffeine!
Know Your Emergency Exits:
When things get stressful, navigating school systems can be one thing too many on your plate. Find out who to contact if you get overwhelmed - before you get overwhelmed. Make note of your Faculty Academic Counsellor and how to contact them.
Find Your Fuel:
Day to day and academic responsibilities are full of demands. What are the activities, places and things that GIVE you energy rather than take it away? Make sure to make time for these recharging activities every day, and especially during the harder times of the school year.
Know Your Resources:
Stressed about school? Looking for self-care resources? Check out the Wellness Education Centre’s publications for tips on stress management, procrastination, sleep, and more. wec.uwo.ca
Don’t Forget to Laugh!
Humour can be a powerful tool in keeping your mental and physical health. When you find yourself feeling stressed, try watching a comedy movie or a funny online video.
Sleeping Well Means Living Well:
Being a student comes with a lot of responsibilities and commitments, so it can be hard to get enough sleep. However, getting 8 hours of sleep a night is important for students because it can help manage stress and emotions, improve your attention, and increase problem-solving skills. For more tips, check out the WEC’s publication “Top Ten Tips to Sleep Well”
Don’t Bottle it Up:
Sharing what you’re going through with a family member, friend, or a counsellor is a great way to deal with whatever life throws at you.
When experiencing thoughts of suicide, it can be helpful to reach out to family members, friends, or join a support group where you may be able to learn coping strategies and to develop a plan moving forward.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask:
If you think someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, don’t be afraid to ask them directly. Contrary to popular belief, talking about suicide to someone will not give them the idea.
Know Your Limits:
University can be stressful. If you feel your mental health is taking a toll, seek support from health professionals. Student Health Services and Psychological Services are here to support Western students!
Busting Suicide Myths
Fact: Contrary to popular belief, talking about suicide to someone will not give them the idea. If you think someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, don’t be afraid to ask them directly!
Fact: There usually are warning signs to suicide.
Fact: Suicide is preventable. Getting someone who is thinking of suicide immediate help from a professional can avert an attempt. Other ways that can help prevent suicide include knowing the warning signs, finding supports for those who have mental health problems, talking about suicide and mental health openly to break the stigmas surrounding both, etc.
Fact: Many people who die by suicide talk about it beforehand. Dismissing someone as being attention-seeking can be dangerous and may prevent someone from getting the help they need.
Fact: Not all suicides are related to mental illness. Some suicides occur out of impulse in a moment of crisis or due to a life stressor. Conversely, not everyone with a mental illness struggles with suicidal thoughts or behaviour.