Ladies Corner Panels |Mental Health: An Indepth Look at Suicides in Edmonton hosted an expert panel on mental health at the Diversity Centre on Friday the 10th of May. The conversation was moderated by  Mary Thomas. The panellists were Miranda Decock whose 15-year-old cousin committed suicide and Lilian Kelani, a Mental Health Manager.

In Mary’s introduction, she spoke about her son’s battle with depression and his mental health. She encouraged our audience to talk more about mental health.

Miranda’s fifteen-year-old cousin had been cyberbullied at school. He could not stand the pain and pressure any more. He took his own life in desperation. Mentalq is the non -profit that Miranda co-pilots with a friend. They aim to raise funds for bigger mental health charities and to raise awareness in the mental health of children in Alberta.

Lilian spoke about people the desperation of many to take their own lives and why at her workplace, a care plan could involve them showing someone who has self-harmed so many times with the intention of killing themselves how to end their own lives safely. She alluded to the fact that getting people to talk about what is going on in their minds is the first step in mental health healing.

She will be starting a mental health talk show called the Shyft on the 1st of June.

We need to learn to spot the signs of a mental health crisis before it develops. We are all not as strong as each other.  Some people need help more than others to handle the stress of life.

Why do we need to talk about suicides and mental health?

Let us begin by looking at what is in the media?

Suicide of Saskatchewan youth dramatically rose in 2018, as the Child and Youth Advocate says children and youth residing in isolated communities face a chronic challenge in accessing services.

Corey O’Soup’s annual report says of the 20 deaths last year, eight were from suicide. In 2017 that number was two.

“The staggering suicide rates and ongoing suicide crisis in northern Saskatchewan is indicative of a lack of readily available mental health resources in these communities,” the report states. “Our experience tells us that mental health service providers often lack the support and resources to provide the level of services needed.” 

   Culled from Sask Media

Why is suicides a big deal in Alberta? reports that

  •  Every day in Alberta, more than one person will die as a result of a suicide
  • Approximately 500 Albertans die by suicide each year
  • Suicide is consistently a leading cause of death among Albertans
  • Suicide claims more lives annually than other more openly discussed issues such as motor vehicle collisions and homicides
  • Over 75% of those deaths are men, most between the ages of 30-69.
We invited CMHA to our panel but they politely declined. Their website reports that:
the Centre for Suicide Prevention in Calgary focuses on prevention because prevention is the only solution to suicide.  Suicide is consistently a leading cause of death among Albertans. Suicide claims more lives annually than other more openly discussed issues such as motor vehicle collisions and homicides. Alberta typically has a higher rate of suicide than the national average.

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