World Suicide Prevention Day: Reach out for Help


​Proactively strengthening our personal wellness practices and reaching out for help or to help when needed​​


A message from Richard Jock, FNHA Chief Executive Officer; and Dr. Nel Wieman, FNHA Acting Chief Medical Officer.​​

​This message contains sensitive content and could be triggering. For crisis support here in BC, don't hesitate to get in touch with the KUU-US Crisis Line at 1-800-588-8717 / vi​sit our Mental Health and Wellness Support page for additional support services.

This World Suicide Preventio​​n Day (Sept. 10), we focus on the importance of reflecting on and empowering our personal mental health and wellness journeys. By doing this, we can ensure we are more resilient to the inevitable challenges life brings.

The FNHA has many tools to support your health and wellness journey. For example, we have self-assessment tools such as the Wellness Roadmap to reflect on wellne​​ss priorities, and the Daily Wellness Organizer to help plan and keep track of your health and wellness journey. Also see the information and links following this message for more tools, resources, and supports.

Are you or people you know having suicidal thoughts?

Many people have had suicidal thoughts and feelings of sadness, loneliness, and hopelessness at times. This is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. If you or a friend or family member are having feelings of sadness, loneliness​, or hopelessness, be kind to yourself or them and reach out for help or support your family member of friend in reaching out for help.  

It is important to know that these feelings and thoughts are a culmination of many factors, and may include racism, colonization, and inter-generational trauma – all of which are reasons First Nations in BC have higher suicide rates compared with non-First Nations people in the province. It is also important to know that you are sacred, your life is sacred, and that you are part of a community – even if you are currently not well-connected with your family and/or community. Finding and maintaining support networks can improve resiliency, as you will already have a plan in place for when ​​you or someone else may need it. Everyone's support networks will vary, but can include family members, friends, community members, co-workers, health professionals, Elders, traditional teachers, and community organizations like Friendship Centres.

Many of our First Nations teachings encourage connecting with culture and striving to mainta​in balance in the four domains of our health and wellness: the mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical. Here are some helpful questions to ask yourself and tips to support you in balancing these domains and strengthening your health and wellness practices.


What sustains your mental health?

  • Think about the people, places, or activities (including traditions or ceremonies) that support your mental wellness. Can you add any to strengthen it further?

What stimula​tes your mental health?

  • Learning new skills and increasing exposure to new experiences keeps our minds strong and flexible.


How can you nourish spirit?

  • How can you establish and/or strengthen your connection to the Creator, a higher power, your culture, community, or the land?
  • Who can you connect with on a deep and meaningful level? Caring and connected relationships are a critical protective factor for suicide prevention.


Have you nou​rished your body?

  • How can you incorporate more fun and play into your life? Walking, hiking, or playing sports with family or friends can support both physical and mental wellness.
  • Listen to your body. Being mindful and connecting to our bodies is important when checking our wellness. Don't ignore your “gut feelings." Take time to reflect on how your physical body is intimately connected to your emotions, your spirit, and your thoughts.
  • Am I getting the sleep, hydration, and nutrition I need for a healthier mind and body? How can I strengthen those practices in my life?


  • Who s​​upports you emotionally?
  • Consider visiting with a loved one at least once a week, perhaps for a walk in nature or doing an activity you both enjoy.
  • Do you feel fulfilled in your relationships, including your partner?
  • Identify and honour your emotional needs and plan to incorporate actions to fill your emotional cup daily.

Your mind, spirit, emotions, and body are interconnected, and they all need self-care; each is affected by the others' wellness. This may mean that in order to bring optimal balance to all four, you may want to connect with a traditional healer, health care provider, or the FNHA's Doctor of the Day. There is also our Virtual Substance Use and Psychiatry Service. Reach out to these supports. They were designed for you and your wellness goals!​​​​

More Suicide-Prevention ​​Resources:

Sometimes, reaching out for help can be the h​ardest thing to do, or may even seem impossible. T​hat's why it's important for all of us to regularly check in and check up on the people we care about. Let's honour this Suicide Prevention Day by committing to reach out and let the people we care about know we are always here to help if they need it.

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