TRURO - Jackie Murphy doesn't want suicide to be swept under the rug.
That's one of the reasons why the Canadian Mental Health Association support worker (Colchester East Hants branch) will be speaking at the second annual World Suicide Prevention Day walk in Truro on Monday.
"It's about awareness and getting rid of the stigma surrounding suicide," said Murphy, who's had family members take their own lives in the past. "We need to talk about the fact that this happens and is happening."
The walk will begin at the branch office (25 Revere St., Truro) at 2 p.m. The event will include a talk on what the event is about and why everyone is there.
"And I will be talking about my personal experience on suicide loss survival," said Murphy.
Those participating will also learn some warning signs of someone contemplating suicide and how they can help.
Last year, the event, which took place on a Sunday at Victoria Park, attracted at least 100 people and included a speech from Truro mayor Bill Mills.
"We wanted to do it on a more personal level this year," said Murphy. "We don't want to focus on the sad part of it, but a little more on the survival aspect - how one experiences the loss, what it looks like, what it feels like and how they can deal with it."
While the public is invited to attend, invitations have also been sent out to Community Addressing Suicide Together (CAST) members as well as members of the suicide loss support group the organization runs.
"By using a different venue we're hopefully letting different people know about us and what we offer," said Murphy.
Along with the support group, which meets the first Monday of every month, Canadian Mental Health also offers two suicide prevention related courses.
"We offer ASIST, which stands for Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training. It's a two-day, more intense course on learning the signs of suicide and helping the person keep safe and seek help," said Murphy. "We also offer safeTALK, which is a half-day course, less intense than ASIST, and it also helps a person become aware of the signs and symptoms, as well as basic ways to seek help."
Some warning signs associated with someone who may be contemplating suicide include becoming withdrawn, previously unseen anger, mood changes, substance abuse, feelings of hopelessness, being trapped and purposelessness, and reckless behavior.
If someone is talking about suicide, those listening should not ignore it, warned Murphy.
"Tell someone you're concerned about this person and why, and ask the person directly, ‘Are you thinking about suicide?' Take them seriously. Seek help and keep them safe."
For more information on the walk or programs offered, call the Colchester East Hants branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association at 895-4211.
IF YOU GO:
What: World Suicide Prevention Day walk
When: Sept. 10, 2 p.m.
Where: Canadian Mental Health Association's Colchester East Hants branch, 25 Revere St., Truro
Why: To raise awareness about suicide prevention