Preventing Suicide
Injury Prevention & Safety, Information for Health Professionals

We all have a role to play in suicide prevention. Suicide is consistently a leading cause of death among Albertans ages 30-69 and every year more Albertans die by suicide than the number of people who die in motor vehicle collisions. In addition, there are close to 6,000 emergency department visits and 2,000 hospitalizations every year for self-inflicted injuries.

Key Messages

Talk about it. Know the signs. Prevent it.

  • Talking or asking about suicide will NOT make someone suicidal. Talking about suicide is the first step to prevention. Read The Language of Suicide to better understand how to talk about suicide with others.
  • Suicide is preventable. Warning signs of suicide could include giving away possessions, saying goodbye, researching suicide methods and talking about being a burden. Clients can visit to learn more about warning signs of suicide.
  • Certain groups in Alberta are disproportionately affected by suicide, including people with mental illness or addiction, people who are socio-economically disadvantaged, Indigenous communities, men and boys, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Clients can learn more about suicide related to youth, adults and older adults at Injury Prevention & Safety - for Families.

Support is available 24/7 – call, text or online chat.

  • Clients having thoughts of suicide should call Health Link at 811 or the Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Text and online chat options are available for all Alberta youth through Calgary ConnecTeen, Monday-Friday 3pm-10pm and Saturday, Sunday 12pm-10pm. Visit or text 587-333-2724.
  • The federal First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line at 1-855-242-3310 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Clients can also access an online chat at Hope for Wellness.
  • Support is also available for caretakers because caring for people who are at risk for suicide can take its toll. Caretakers can reach out for help by calling Health Link at 811 or the Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642.

It's important to heal after a loss. Get emotional support and practical help.

World Suicide Prevention Day

World Suicide Prevention Day, held annually on September 10th, is an initiative of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), and is co-sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO). This day provides opportunities to focus public attention on the burden and costs of suicidal behaviours, as well as to highlight diverse activities that promote understanding about suicide, and suicide prevention.

Watch and share the AHS video.

For further information please refer to the The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP) website.

International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day

Every year, on the third Saturday in November, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) sponsors International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, a day that unites survivors of suicide loss across the world. At events in hundreds of cities spanning 6 continents, survivors of suicide loss gather together to remember their loved ones and offer each other support. Events aim to help survivors cope with the tragedy of losing someone to suicide.