Every 40 seconds, someone on the planet has taken their own life.

That from the CMHA who is looking end the stigma surrounding suicide by hosting World Suicide Prevention Day.  Mental health support worker, Kelly Brunette says she’s dealt with or heard of times where all someone needs is a person to talk to.

“I hope we do get more people that will feel more comfortable coming to the CMHA or other organizations in the community.  Hearing about a big community event will help them feel more comfortable and ready to get the help they need.”

The CMHA says suicide rates are five to seven times higher for First Nations youth than for non-Aboriginal youth and Brunette says it can afflict anyone and every one deserves their fair chance.

“Individuals do come in looking down and feeling embarrassed.  Once they’re asked about it, you can almost see a sigh of relief because it’s a hard thing to do.”

The World Suicide Prevention Day event will feature booth displays from community agencies providing services to individuals at risk of suicide as well as other services integral to the well-being of individuals in the community and surrounding areas.  This event will feature guest speaker Chantal Palmer as well as a balloon launch in honour of the survivors and in memory of our loved ones who have died by suicide.

The primary goal of the event, in connection with this year’s theme is “Preventing Suicide:  Reaching Out and Saving Lives”, bringing awareness to suicide prevention.  Our secondary goal is to connect individuals with resources available within our community and to send a strong message that “It’s OK to ask for Help!”

The event goes tonight at the Hollinger Park at 6 p.m.