The best way to prevent suicide is to talk about it

GUELPH – Anxiety, depression and other mental health and life challenges can be hard to manage during the uncertainty brought about by COVID-19 states the Suicide Awareness Council of Wellington Dufferin Guelph.

“It is also a time that people may be having thoughts of suicide. More than ever, it is important to reach out to family, friends, neighbours and those that are particularly isolated and vulnerable,” the council states in an April 6 press release.

Creating opportunities for open and non-judgmental dialogue about feelings of suicide is one of the most important ways to prevent suicide before it happens, officials state. Supporting people to realize that they are not alone and that there are people who care and who will help is crucial.

Suicide Awareness Council coordinator Heather Glenister says “it is helpful to be able to recognize potential signs of suicide risk.

“A few of these include, suicidal threats, talking or joking about suicide, expressions of hopelessness, helplessness and desperation and changes in personality or mood. By being alert to changes in behaviours, people can help someone sooner and reduce the risk.”

Suicide is preventable and there is hope, the council states. For many reasons, people are often reluctant to intervene when they suspect someone might be considering suicide, including a fear of not knowing what to say. It is important to remember, there is no specific formula. Empathy, compassion, genuine concern, knowledge of resources and a desire to help are key to preventing a suicide. For a list of helpful resources,

Building resiliency is key in helping to foster good mental health and well-being. A few resilience-boosting skills include getting enough sleep, leaning on social networks, playing with a pet, volunteering and learning a new skill. Coping with stress in a positive way can help to reduce feelings of isolation, anxiety, fear and thoughts of suicide.

HERE 24/7 (Waterloo Wellington)

Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington

1-844-437-3247 TTY 1-877-688-5501

Distress Line: Daily 8:30am to 10pm


Kids Help Phone

1-800-668-6868 Text: 686868