This time of year, can we be a wonderful time, but it can also be very difficult for many.
The shorter days of December can be especially challenging for those suffering from mental illness like seasonal affective disorder. There is also the added stress of the holiday season and Christmas time can be especially hard for those grieving.
The Suicide Prevention Resource Centre wants to encourage us to support each other during what can be a difficult time of year for many.
"Anybody can be that person that says, 'Are you ok?' and listen, have open communication, show that you care, watch out for each other," said Faris Atkinson with SPRC. "If there's something that is happening, and you are noticing some changes in someone else, and you're thinking I wonder what's going on, well go and ask 'Are you ok? I am really worried about you.'"
She says sometimes reaching out to someone who is struggling is like first aid.
"Sometimes all a person needs is a band-aid, sometimes all they need is someone to talk to and that is good enough until the next time they need a band-aid. Sometimes it's a broken arm. You know how to steady and support a broken arm, but you can't fix it, but you know someone who can so get them there. Sometimes it's a 911 call, but you won't know which it is until you have that conversation with that person."
She says that for every one female that dies by suicide, there are ten men who die. Women are more likely to attempt, and men are more likely to die.
Some supports that are available in Grande Prairie include the Integrated Crisis Access Team located in the Aberdeen Centre, The Canadian Mental Health Association, The Suicide Prevention Resource Centre and 811.
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