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Eight Suggestions for World Mental Health Day

posted by KWCS Staff

Eight Suggestions for World Mental Health Day


October 10th is World Mental Health Day. This is a day to bring awareness to mental health, and work to improve the mental health of people in our community and around the world. The theme for this year is suicide prevention. The World Health Organization suggests making 40 seconds of action to raise awareness of the scale of suicide around the world and the role that each of us can play to help prevent it. Below are eight suggestions:


  1. If you are struggling, take 40 seconds to kickstart a conversation with someone you trust about how you are feeling.
  2. If you know someone who has lost a loved one to suicide, take 40 seconds to start a conversation and ask them how they are doing.
  3. If you work in media, highlight the 40-second statistic in interviews, articles and blogposts.
  4. If you work in the arts or on digital platforms, interrupt your production or broadcast to transmit a 40-second message about mental health or preventing suicide.
  5. If you are an employer or manager, take 40 seconds to formulate a positive message of support to your employees about resources available to them in the workplace or local community in times of mental distress.
  6. If you want your leaders to hear your request for action, record a 40-second audio clip or video telling them the action you want them to take on suicide prevention and mental health.
  7. If you have a platform for communicating with a large audience (social media, television, radio), provide 40-second slots for sharing mental health stories and messages.
  8. If you hold political office, communicate publicly about action you are taking to promote mental health and prevent suicide, highlighting the 40-second statistic.


Read more from the World Health Organization

In April 2019, “A Community Profile on Suicide and Self-Harm in Waterloo Region” notes that “Overall, the prevalence for mood disorders, lifetime suicidal thoughts, and lifetime suicide planning were statistically significantly higher in Waterloo Region than Ontario…” There were some clear sociodemographic trends across all the CCHS indicators, particularly at the Ontario level. The following groups had higher rates of mental illness and suicidal behaviour, relative to their counterparts:

  • females;
  • youth (aged 15 to 24 years);
  • individuals with lower income;
  • individuals with less than high school education;
  • First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples;
  • lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals;
  • single (never married), widowed, separated or divorced individuals;
  • and non-immigrants.

Of the sub-groups assessed, lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals and Indigenous peoples had by far the highest rates of mental illness and suicidal behaviour, often 3.5 to 4 times higher than the overall rate.

Here’s a CBC article that includes an interview with our OK2BME Coordinator, Washington Silk, on this topic.


Read about Supporting Others from the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council


Remember, if you are in crisis please call 911 or visit the hospital emergency room. You may also call Here 24/7 at 1.844.437.3247.

If you are interested in counselling, please call our Intake Team at 519.884.0000 or visit or Walk In Counselling Clinic on Thursdays between 12 and 6pm.