September 10, 2020 (Toronto) – Suicide claims the lives of 4,000 Canadians every year – nearly 11 people per day. That’s why, on World Suicide Prevention Day, CAMH is launching Not Today, the biggest campaign in its history, to prevent suicide today, tomorrow and every day after that.
Not Today, developed with input from people with lived experience, is a promise that we as an organization, a community and a nation, will do everything we can to make today not the day we lose someone else to suicide.
“Suicide steals time. Time allows people to get the help they need to heal and to hold hope for a better tomorrow,” said Dr. Catherine Zahn, CAMH President and CEO. “Time gives us the opportunity to offer care and supports for those facing suicide, and time gives our researchers the chance to discover new treatments for mental illness.”
Suicide is a serious issue that impacts mental health hospitals like ours every day. As Canada’s largest teaching hospital and one of the world’s leading research centres in its field, we feel we have a unique responsibility to lead a national conversation about suicide prevention.
“Not Today is something people struggling with mental illness can say aloud to inspire hope as they embark on their journey to recovery,” said Juveria Zaheer, a CAMH clinician and scientist. “The more people who join us in saying Not Today, the more we can become an unstoppable, life-saving force.”
Suicide is an extremely difficult topic to talk about publicly. For those struggling with mental illness or families who’ve lost a loved one, it can be a painful reminder of the most severe outcome of mental illness. We spent more than a year seeking input from people with different relationships to the topic to ensure we were communicating respectfully and carefully.
“Talking openly about suicide, when done in a hopeful and respectful way, has the potential to change and save lives, said Deborah Gillis, CAMH Foundation’s president and CEO. It is our sincere belief that Not Today will help spark those meaningful, life-saving conversations so that individuals suffering know that they are not alone.”
We need your help to make every day World Suicide Prevention Day. To find out how to donate and support us, visit www.camh.ca.
For suicide prevention and crisis resources, visit www.camh.ca. If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide, you are deserving of help and can call 1-833-456-4566. If you require immediate, in-person emergency care, call 911, or go to your nearest emergency department.
- The world loses 800,000 people to suicide every year. That’s one person every 40 seconds.
- Wherever possible, Not Today features real people with lived experience, sharing their hopeful, empowering story of mental illness including addiction, as well as suicide and recovery.
- Not Today follows clinical best practices about how to talk about suicide and suicide prevention. All language and statistics have been vetted through clinical experts.
- Several of our leading clinicians and researchers at CAMH are featured in the campaign and while all work to reduce the impact of suicide in their respective areas of expertise, they represent diversity across race, gender identity and discipline across CAMH.
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, as well as one of the world's leading research centres in its field. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental health and addiction issues. CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre.
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