SafeTALK session aims to alert participants to suicide risk signs

Most people with thoughts of suicide don’t truly want to die, but are struggling with the pain of living in their current situation, organizers of a local public education program state.

“We also know that most people indicate their distress in a variety of ways, some obvious, others more subtle,” states a press release issued by North for Youth and Safe Communities Wellington.

“Through their words and actions, a person at risk of suicide may be hoping someone will notice and help them. SafeTALK-trained helpers can learn to recognize possible signs of risk and take action by connecting a person with life-saving support.”

On April 20, from 5 to 9pm at the Harriston Public Library, community members are invited to learn how to be a suicide-alert helper. People attending this workshop need no previous experience or training in order to become more ready, willing and able to help.

The community partnership event is offered by the Suicide Awareness Council of Wellington Dufferin, Safe Communities Wellington, Get In Touch For Hutch, North for Youth, and the Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo-Wellington.

“Your decision to attend a SafeTALK workshop could help save a life … that life could be someone you know at work, that you coach on a team, a friend, a neighbour, and yes … even a beloved family member,” organizers state. “Helping a person realize they are not alone and that there is help they can turn to, could make the difference between a person choosing life or death.”

The safeTALK workshop is delivered by registered LivingWorks Education Inc. trainers who will help participants:

– notice and respond to situations where suicide thoughts might be present;

– recognize invitations for help are often overlooked;

– move beyond the common tendency to miss, dismiss and avoid suicide; and

– become aware of community resources and how to connect someone with help.

To register for the SafeTALK workshop go to or call Gabriella Ieropoli at 1-800-265-7293 ext. 7603. Participants must pre-register. The subsidized cost to attend is $20 per person (regularly $50).

“Please do not let the fee be a barrier to attending; the priority is to ensure this community training is available to anyone who wants it,” organizers urge.