“Thank you for the United Way funded presentation on “Understanding Mental Health, Suicide and Addictions“. I recently had a situation where I put the skills I learned into practice. My daughter came to us because her friends had been talking about suicide. If I had not come to your presentation, I would not have approached the conversation as head on as I did. I would have been afraid I would give my daughter ideas she may not have had. Learning that was not the case gave me the confidence to approach my daughter calmly and rationally. I was able to listen to what she said, and what she was not saying. I asked my daughter if her friends had a plan for suicide, but she said it was more of an off-hand comment. This conversation happened on a Saturday afternoon and within a couple of hours, I was speaking with the school principal who reached out to the families involved to ensure everyone was safe. I am very proud of my daughter and I am thankful for your presentation. It allowed me to slow down, take a breath, ask direct questions, and pull more information than I probably would have. That Saturday was probably the hardest day I’ve ever had as a parent and there were many tears. I think it also brought us closer together and taught her to trust me. Your presentation may have saved someone from something dangerous or possibly irreversible. I will definitely recommend it to anyone looking for information on these topics. I personally took a lot from it that made me reflect on relationships I currently have as well as ones I’ve had over the years.”
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Canadians between the ages of 10- 24. Building emotional resilience and talking openly about mental health, mental illness and suicide are vital ways to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone in our community, regardless of age. People who are connected to others and their community tend to be happier and healthier. Belonging and participating are ways to get emotional support, feel valued, decrease social isolation, and give back to the community. United Way GWD partners with local, front-line agencies to deliver vital programs and services that focus on belonging, inclusion, and connection to support in our communities.