File Photo

File Photo

Sylvan Lake offering Community Helpers training to aide in suicide prevention

Chelsey Lambert says talking about mental health and suicide is the best way to help bring awareness

Chelsey Lambert is offering suicide prevention training to local residents through the Town’s Community Helpers Program, for which she is the coordinator.

Lambert presented to Town Council about the program at a recent meeting of council.

The Community Helpers Program is a “peer-to-peer helping program” which focuses on supporting youth and young adults. This program promotes mental health, suicide awareness and stigma reduction.

Lambert says suicide is 100 per cent preventable, and to do so the community needs to be able to talk about it openly.

“Mental health checks need to be part of our daily language… It should be, ‘How was your day? How are you feeling mentally?’” Lambert says.

A study by the Public Health Agency of Canada in 2016 shows that suicide is the second leading cause of death in youth ages 10-24. The study indicates motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of death in the same age group.

Lambert says it is believed the current leading cause of death is actually suicide.

“We talk about motor driving, everyone knows about the risks of distracted driving, but there is still a stigma when it comes to talking about mental health and suicide,” Lambert said.

Alberta has the third highest rate of suicide in the country, and in 2018 there were over 7,000 Albertans admitted to the hospital for attempted suicide, half of those hospital visits were by youth.

In talking about mental health and suicide, Lambert says it will help to reduce the startling statistics. She also says that talking is a two-way street, and that listening is the other half of the puzzle.

The majority of those who have died by, or attempted, suicide have told someone before it happened.

“Suicide is 100 per cent preventable. We need to be talking about it and not making it taboo.”

“Unfortunately we don’t know the affects COVID-19 will have the suicide rate until much later… We do know that the mental health consequences [like suicidal behaviour] will be felt long after. It is believed it will actually peak later than the actual pandemic.”

A recent survey done in Canada showed six per cent of respondents have had suicidal thoughts during the pandemic and nine per cent of parents with young children said they had had suicidal thoughts.

Lambert says those most likely to have these thoughts and behaviours are those with a pre-existing mental health disorder such as depression or anxiety.

However, she says the COVID-19 pandemic may bring out suicidal thoughts and behaviours in those without these disorders because of the uncertainty, social isolation and economic problems the pandemic has brought on.

“Suicide is a significant issue that affects everyone… and can be prevented.”

Lambert has been leading training to community members and Town of Sylvan Lake staff in how to talk about mental health and suicide and work with people who may be suffering.

Lambert offers two training options, one is a full day course to become a certified Community Helper, and the other is a two hour presentation on suicide prevention.

Currently, Lambert is working with youth in the high school who are Ment-to-Matter Mentors, as well as Grade 8 students at Ecole Fox Run School and those in the Leaders in Training program.

She says she has completed three training sessions with community members, both in person and virtually.

The training she provides is available for youth groups, schools, community members, businesses, volunteers, support organizations and more.

“The best thing we can do is to talk about it,” she said.

To learn more about Community Helpers, or to request training, contact Lambert at clambert@sylvanlake.ca

Just Posted

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta adds 1,195 new COVID-19 cases Saturday

Red Deer has dropped to 760 active cases

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw is asking Albertans to do their part by observing gathering limits, staying home if unwell, wearing masks and maintaining physical distance. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Three new Central zone COVID-19 deaths, Alberta adds 1,433 cases

Red Deer down to 802 active cases of COVID-19

During the summer at peak times and days, the angled parking lot and the small parking additional parking area north of the playground are congested due to visitors utilizing one of the few public boat launches on Pigeon Lake. Image/ Metro Creative Connection.
New parking lot to open in Mulhurst for the summer season

The paid parking lot will be able to accommodate 26 vehicles and trailers.

File photo
Maskwacis and Wetaskiwin RCMP requesting public’s assistance in shooting that left one male injured

The gun shot victim was transported to hospital by STARS Air Ambulance.

Alberta’a chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Thursday that there are more than 328,000 vaccine appointments booked over the next seven days. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta surpasses 2 million doses administered of COVID-19 vaccine

Red Deer down to 835 active cases of COVID-19

Marc Kielburger, screen left, and Craig Kielburger, screen right, appear as witnesses via video conference during a House of Commons finance committee in the Wellington Building in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. The committee is looking into Government Spending, WE Charity and the Canada Student Service Grant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau didn’t violate conflict rules over WE Charity, watchdog says

Federal ethics commissioner Mario Dion found that former finance minister Bill Morneau did violate the rules

Welcoming cowboy boots at the historic and colourful Last Chance Saloon in the ghost town of Wayne near Drumheller, Alta., on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. The bar and hotel are up for sale. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘It was a going concern’: Remaining bar and hotel in Alberta coal ghost town for sale

The historic Last Chance Saloon in the ghost town of Wayne in southern Alberta is up for sale

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Restrictions will lift once 75% of Canadians get 1 shot and 20% are fully immunized, feds say

Federal health officials are laying out their vision of what life could look like after most Canadians are vaccinated against COVID-19

Chris Scott, owner of The Whistle Stop Cafe, was put in handcuffs after an anti-restriction protest Saturday in the parking lot of the business. (Screenshot via The Whistle Stop Facebook page)
Alberta RCMP investigating possible threat to police after Mirror rally

Online images show RCMP members, vehicles in crosshairs of a rifle

An Israeli attack helicopter launches flares as he flies over the Israeli Gaza border, southern Israel, Thursday, May 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Singh calls for halt on Canadian arms sales to Israel as violence escalates in region

Government data shows Canada sent $13.7 million in military goods and technology to Israel in 2019

New homes are built in a housing construction development in the west-end of Ottawa on Thursday, May 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Budget’s foreign-homebuyers tax could bring in $509 million over 4 years, PBO says

Liberals are proposing a one per cent tax on vacant homes owned by foreign non-residents

A Canadian flag patch is shown on a soldier’s shoulder in Trenton, Ont., on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. The Canadian Forces says it has charged one of its members in the death of an army reservist from British Columbia during a training exercise at a military base in Alberta last year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg
Canadian Forces member charged in death of army reservist during training exercise

Cpl. Lars Callsen has been charged with one count of negligence

A youth plays basketball in an otherwise quiet court in Toronto on Saturday April 17, 2021. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is urging the federal and provincial governments to fight COVID-19 pandemic by focusing on proven public health policy interventions including paid sick leave, and education rather than punitive enforcement measures. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Provinces issued more COVID-19 tickets during 2nd wave: CCLA report

‘A pandemic is a public health, not a public order, crisis,’ reads the report

Most Read