Suicide rates among Interior Health youth nearly double B.C. average

Vernon agency surveying parents, youth, teachers on how to help

Rising youth suicide rates have prompted doctors at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto to launch a six-week clinical trial that includes adolescents who showed up at the hospital before or after they attempted to take their own lives. Black Press Media file photo

No matter the cause or the reason, suicides take a heavy toll on a community.

In Canada, suicide is the second-highest cause of death for youth aged 10-24. The Interior Health region has one of the highest rates of youth suicide deaths in British Columbia, 8.3 per every 100,000 people compared to the B.C. average of 4.3.

The Canadian Mental Health Association Vernon & District Branch (CMHA) wants to know why this is, as every life lost to suicide is one too many. With a desire to reduce these numbers, CMHA Vernon urges the community to join the conversation about ways to improve our local youth’s mental health and suicide prevention services.

“These high rates of suicide are a clear indication that we need to come together as a community to have a collaborative conversation about suicide and suicide prevention. Our goal is to gain a holistic view of mental health services, supports and gaps in our community,” suicide prevention programs manager Alyssa Christmas said. “Your experience is important to the work we are doing.”

CMHA is taking a closer look at youth suicide prevention and intervention strategies for youth and their families in the area starting with data collection from individuals, families, and service providers. This research will help facilitate a better understanding of the experiences of youth with the aim to learn how to better serve our community.

“We want to work collaboratively with the community, especially with our youth. Our intention is to have an open discussion with our youth, especially those in marginalized communities, to help us gain an understanding of what their unique needs are and how to provide the resources they need,” CMHA project coordinator Naaz Kaur Grewal said. “By having a conversation, we not only normalize getting support but also reduce the stigma surrounding suicide.”

Surveys are available for various people:

• Youth: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/youthmentalhealthY

• Parents: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/youthmentalhealthP

• Service providers/teachers: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/youthmentalhealthSCP

If you or someone you know is struggling with the thought of suicide, call the Interior Crisis Line Network at 1-888-363-CARE (2273) or use the chat service from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m., Thursday through Sunday, accessible through interiorcrisisline.com.

READ MORE: Mental health disorders, suicide on the rise among Okanagan students

READ MORE: Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth


@VernonNews
newsroom@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Child welfaresuicidesuicide crisis

Just Posted

A Gofundme campaign is underway for Salmon Arm man Tim Kubash who was injured in an accident on May 5. (Contributed)
Friends step up for Salmon Arm man facing big life reset

Gofundme campaign underway for Tim Kubash after life-altering accident

Song Sparrow Hall producer and sound engineer Craig Newnes with Darrin Herting from Jimmy Two Shoes & the Lost Soles prepare to record for The Wharf Sessions. (Kate Fagervik photo)
Wednesday on the Wharf makes 2021 debut as digital offering

Variety of musicians and musical styles recorded in The Wharf Sessions

Two people were killed in an April 6 collision on Highway 1 east of Salmon Arm. (RCMP Image)
RCMP correct cause of fatal April 6 collision on Highway 1 near Sicamous

Crash resulted in the deaths of both drivers involved

Completion of the Solsqua-Sicamous Bridge isn’t expected until spring 2022. (District of Sicamous photo)
Sicamous bridge completion pushed to spring 2022

Overnight crossing delays expected at Solsqua-Sicamous Bridge, May 19-21

A prowling coyote proved no match for a stray black cat who chased it out of a Port Moody parking lot Friday, May 14. (Twitter/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Little but fierce: Cat spotted chasing off coyote by Port Moody police

The black cat is seen jumping out from under a parked car and running the wild animal out of a vacant lot

B.C. RCMP released these two photos of Erick Fryer (left) and Carlo Fryer (right). The two brothers from Kamloops were found dead near a remote road in Naramata May 10, 2021. (RCMP photo)
Slain Kamloops brothers found near Penticton not likely connected to recent B.C. gang wars: RCMP

Police confirm the bodies found near Naramata as Erick Fryer, 29, and Carlo Fryer, 31

Several RCMP cruisers stationed out front of Kelowna’s Global Fitness following a shooting on the morning of Monday, March 29. The shooting was later revealed to be gang-related. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
B.C.’s top gangs are operating in Kelowna: RCMP

‘We have all of the major gangs in Kelowna,’ said Supt. Kara Triance

Crews battled a grass fire behind the Tolko mill along the railway tracks off Otter Lake Cross Road in Spallumcheen Monday, April 26. (Caitlin Clow - Morning Star file)
Reports of man lighting Vernon fires with blowtorch

Grassfires sparked near train tracks, behind bottle depot

Kelowna RCMP precinct. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News file)
Kelowna RCMP promotion process tainted with bias: federal judge

An officer was passed over for a promotion in 2015

A restaurant server on White Rock’s Marine Drive serves customers on a roadside patio. Indoor dining and recreational travel bans have been in effect since late March in B.C. (Peace Arch News)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate falls to 411 cases Tuesday

360 people in hospital, up slightly, two more deaths

The Banff National Park entrance is shown in Banff, Alta., Tuesday, March 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Minister asks Canadians to camp carefully in national parks as season starts

Kitchen shelters in Banff National Park closed, trails on Vancouver Island will only be one-way

Names of those aboard the ship are seen at Komagata Maru monument in downtown Vancouver, on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. The City of Vancouver has issued an apology for its racist role in denying entry to 376 passengers aboard a ship that was forced to return to India over a century ago. Mayor Kennedy Stewart says discrimination by the city had “cruel effects” on the Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims aboard the Komagata Maru, which arrived in Burrard Inlet on May 23, 1914. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says sorry for city’s role in turning away South Asians in 1914

Kennedy Stewart has declared May 23 as the annual Komagata Maru Day of Remembrance

A crew of WestCoast WILD Adventures employees tackled an onslaught of litter left at the ‘Locks of Love’ fence at Wally Creek on May 2. (Anne-Marie Gosselin photo)
Litter woes consume popular ‘Locks of Love’ fence on B.C.’s Pacific Rim

Popular view spot near Tofino plagued by people hanging masks and other unwanted garbage

Most Read