What is Suicide?
Suicide is the taking of your own life, or 'killing yourself'.
Who is Attempting Suicide?
While young women are more likely to attempt suicide, young men are more likely to die from a suicide attempt. The suicide rate for Aboriginal youth is almost five times higher than the national average. It has been estimated that for every suicide there are between 10 and 100 attempted suicides.
Reference: Health Canada - Healthy Development of Children and Youth.
In Canada, suicide is the second highest cause of death for youth aged 10 to 24. Each year, on average, 294 youths die from suicide. Aboriginal teens and gay and lesbian teens may be at particularly high risk, depending on the community they live in and their own self esteem.
Reference: Reflections on Youth Suicide - CMHA
Eight out of ten people who commit suicide give warnings that they are considering suicide. New research reported in the December 1999 issue of Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, published by the American Psychological Association, has identified eight critical risk factors:
- Discussing a death wish or suicide methods
- Increasing social withdrawal and isolation
- Sudden, inexplicable lightening of mood
- History of previous attempts
- Suicide by family member or friend
- Readily available means
- Addiction to alcohol or other drugs
- Serious medical problems
There are several agencies you can call for information and help:
Kid's Help Phone
Mental Health Children's Crisis Response Line
Suicide Prevention Bureau, The Salvation Army
If you have a friend who is seriously considering suicide:
- Listen and acknowledge your friend's distress
- Encourage and support positive thinking and responses
- Invite your friend to do activities with you
- Ask if your friend is considering harming themselves or considering suicide
- If your friend is suicidal - talk about it and assist getting help
- Don't try to deal with this on your own, get others to help