Everyone deserves the opportunity to live long, healthy and rewarding lives. Sept. 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day, an opportunity to learn about the supports available for those facing mental-health or substance-use issues in B.C.
The struggle of depression, substance-use and mental-health disorders is a heavy burden for families and individuals to carry alone. That’s why it’s important to know that help is available – help that could potentially save a life.
There are a variety of caring and confidential mental-health supports available throughout B.C. for adults, youth and children who need help, advice or just a sympathetic ear. Even a small first step, like a phone call or connecting with a community member, can make a big difference.
Supports for children and youth include:
- The Kids Help Phone offers immediate and caring support, information and, if wanted, referral to a local community or social service agency. Phone toll-free: 1 800 668-6868.
- 310Mental Health Support line provides 24/7 emotional support, information and resources specific to mental health. Phone: 310-6789.
- For an at-a-glance map listing approximately 350 mental-health and substance-use services for children and youth throughout the province, see: http://ow.ly/VFSrT
- The FRIENDS Program teaches kids how to identify and manage stress and worries, while promoting self-esteem and positive relationships: http://ow.ly/3yDn303GCcT
- The ERASE Bullying Prevention Strategy provides resources to help prevent bullying and help students report bullies: https://reportbullyingbc.edudata.ca/apps/bullying/
- Mindcheck.ca is an interactive website that helps teens identify how they are feeling and connect to mental-health resources and support if desired: http://mindcheck.ca/
- The Stresslr app helps children aged 9-11 manage stress: http://www.stresslr.ca
- Child and youth mental-health practitioners, health-care providers, Aboriginal mental-health practitioners and leaders, school personnel and other youth-serving practitioners have an important role to play in the prevention of suicide by youth. Information for practitioners: http://ow.ly/BCCu303GCmZ
Supports for adults include:
- www.heretohelp.bc.ca provides information about managing mental illness and maintaining good mental health, including screening self-tests for wellness, mood and anxiety.
- HealthLink BC offers 24-hour, confidential health information and advice. Phone: 8-1-1, or visit: www.healthlinkbc.ca
- Free and confidential emotional support is available for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including thoughts of suicide. Phone toll-free: 1 800 SUICIDE (1 800 784-2433).
- The Bounce Back program helps adults experiencing symptoms of mild to moderate depression, stress and anxiety. Phone toll free: 1 866 639-0522, or visit: www.cmha.bc.ca/how-we-can-help/adults/bounceback
- The KUU-US is a First Nations crisis line providing culturally specific support services for Aboriginal people throughout B.C. Phone toll-free 1 800 KUU-US17 (588-8717) or call the Child and Youth line: 1 250 723-2040.
- A network of direct and contracted services for individuals suffering from substance use challenges is available, including counselling, needle exchanges, and withdrawal management and prevention programs for youth. Phone toll-free: 1 866 658-1221.
- The Alcohol & Drug Information and Referral Service helps British Columbians access resources, support and referral information for treatment and counsellors throughout the province. Phone toll-free: 1 800 663-1441 or 604 660-9382 (Greater Vancouver).
For more information on supports specific to your region, visit:
- Northern Health: www.northernhealth.ca/YourHealth/MentalHealthAddictions.aspx
- Interior Health: www.interiorhealth.ca/YourCare/MentalHealthSubstanceUse
- Island Health: www.viha.ca/mhas/
- Vancouver Coastal Health: http://ow.ly/P9va303ANxp
- Fraser Health: http://www.fraserhealth.ca/health-info/mental-health-substance-use/
- First Nations Health Authority: http://ow.ly/LSjl303WWtO
- Local Child and Youth Mental Health offices: http://ow.ly/s4SO303ANGq
- Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre: keltymentalhealth.ca/node/2572
On World Suicide Prevention Day, ‘connect, communicate, care’ and join with others around the globe who are working to prevent these tragedies from happening. Help empower British Columbians to seek the care they need, remember those who have been lost, and support the loved ones who struggle with mental-health or substance-use issues in B.C.