Suicide prevention – A community responsibility

Kiera on October 17, 2012

Each day, we are hearing more about the tragic story of Amanda Todd, a Port Coquitlam teen who took her life last week after enduring years of bullying both online and at school.

Amanda’s story has sparked a huge response among Canadians. Memorials for Amanda are being held, new laws about cyber-bullying in BC are being discussed, and conversations about how to prevent this from happening to other young people are happening in BC and across the country.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for BC youth aged 12-18.  Suicide is a complex problem requiring complex solutions. What I mean by this is that we all need to work together as a community to prevent suicide wherever possible. According to the Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of BC (Crisis Centre), suicide prevention includes a range of activities within communities such as:

  • Education about warning signs
  • Reducing stigma associated with suicide and mental health
  • Promoting positive mental health
  • Addressing bullying
  • Supporting families
  • Access to crisis support services

Everyone in the community has a role to play in creating inclusive environments where youth feel accepted and connected. This is particularly important in schools where teens spend the majority of their time.

Amanda wanted to share her story so that others would not have to endure the pain she experienced. It is unfortunate that it often takes a tragedy in order to create action toward change. However, perhaps in the wake of this tragedy we can move forward as a community to strengthen suicide prevention efforts in BC. 

Schools and communities can access information and resources from the Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of BC (Crisis Centre)

If you, or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, contact the Crisis Centre at 1-800-SUICIDE. You can also chat anonymously through the YouthinBC website at Help is available.

For more information on bullying,  read our past blog post here.

Photo courtesy of via Flickr



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BC Children's Hospital

This is an agency of Provincial Health Services Authority, providing provincial tertiary mental health services to the citizens of British Columbia. Programs include: Adult Tertiary Psychiatry, Geriatric Psychiatry, Forensic Psychiatric Services, Child & Adolescent Mental Health, Women’s Reproductive Mental Health, as well as the Provincial Specialized Eating Disorders Program for children and youth located at the BC Children’s Hospital.

Provincial Health Services Authority

Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) is one of six health authorities – the other five health authorities serve geographic regions of BC.

Ministry of Health

British Columbia Ministry of Health

RBC Children's Mental Health Project

RBC Children’s Mental Health Project is RBC's cornerstone “health and wellness” pillar; RBC Children’s Mental Heath Project is a multi-year philanthropic commitment to support community-based and hospital programs that reduce stigma, provide early intervention and increase public awareness about children’s mental health issues.

BC Children's Hospital Foundation

Through a wide range of fundraising events and opportunities, The BC Children's Hospital Foundation is united with its donors by a single, simple passion - to improve the health and the lives of the young people who enter BC Children's Hospital every day.