Supports available to help individuals thinking of suicide

September 18, 2023

EDMONTON – To mark World Suicide Prevention Day on Sept. 10, Alberta Health Services reminds Albertans to take any mention of suicide seriously, and get help right away if someone you know is in immediate risk of suicide:

It can be hard to know if someone is thinking about suicide but recognizing the risk factors and warning signs is important. People can be more at risk of suicide when they experience barriers accessing social and health services, mental illness, traumatic life events, family violence, or have a diagnosis of a serious physical illness. Use the REACH Pathway to help remember what you can do to support someone who is struggling: 

If you or somebody you know is struggling, there are resources to help:

World Suicide Prevention Day was created in 2003 by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) in partnership with the World Health Organization. 

Talking about suicide and mental health can be difficult, but it’s one of the most important ways to help reduce stigma. Together, we can help prevent suicide by showing understanding and compassion and by encouraging people experiencing mental health challenges to reach out for support.

When talking about suicide, use people-first language (someone with suicidal thoughts vs a suicidal person). Phrases such as death by suicide, died by suicide, or suicide describes what happened and respects family and friends left behind. For anyone who might be struggling, it’s important to emphasize that support is available. 

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Our mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans. Our current focus is on reducing emergency department wait-times, improving EMS response times, increasing access to surgeries, and improving patient flow.