The Association for Suicide Prevention in Quebec, known under its French acronym as AQPS, has begun its 30th suicide prevention awareness week. (Photo iStock/Warchi)

Suicide prevention awareness week begins in Quebec

The Association for Suicide Prevention in Quebec, known under its French acronym as AQPS, has begun its 30th suicide prevention awareness week.

Recent stats said that 1,045 people died by suicide in 2017, which is an average of 3 a day. 

“It’s important because it allows us for one week to really put an emphasis on the prevention of suicide,” said Jérôme Gaudreault, the general director of the AQPS.

In Quebec, men die by suicide at a rate three times higher than women. The report states that the highest among people aged 50-64. Attempted suicides have also hospitalized 3,900 people in Quebec. 

The AQPS, is collaborating with the National Institute of Public Health, and Quebec’s Coroner’s office to raise awareness on suicide prevention.  

The AQPS wants to lower the number of suicides, as well as the amount of hospitalizations due to suicide attempts.

Last week the AQPS announced a campaign called Parler de suicides sauve des vies, or Talking about suicide saves lives. The ambassadors of the campaign are Dean Bergeron, a former Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and Paralympic medalist, as well as Dave Morissette, a former National Hockey League player and host for TVA sports. 

Gaudreault said that it’s important to talk about suicide because talking about it is the first step to getting help.

“We have to talk about it, we have to put what we’re living into words,” Gaudreault added.

The QMJHL has been partnering up with Association for Suicide Prevention in Quebec for the last three years. This year, each team in the QMJHL will have a game dedicated to suicide awareness to educate the fans. 

According to Public Health Agency of Canada, about 4,000 have died by suicide in Canada, which is an average of 11 a day. 

If you are in need of support, in Canada, and in Quebec, you can call these numbers:

Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 

Trans Lifeline: 1-877-330-6366 

Hope for Wellness Help Line: 1-855-242-3310 – Online chat: www.hopeforwellness.ca 

Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419 

Canada Suicide Prevention Service: 1-833-456-4566  

For Quebec residents: 1-866-APPELLE (277-3553)

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