FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government is inviting New Brunswickers to be involved in suicide prevention and awareness activities during February, Suicide Prevention Month.

"We wish to raise awareness about suicide prevention by encouraging dialogue among New Brunswickers and reducing stigma related to mental illness," said Health Minister Hugh Flemming. "We hope that by raising awareness about the warning signs of suicide and the ways to seek treatment, we can prevent other families from experiencing this tragedy."

The warning signs of suicide include: depression, loneliness, giving away prized possessions, poor performance at work or school, aggressive behaviour, mood swings, unnecessary risk-taking, threats of suicide, talking about death, abuse of alcohol or drugs and loss of interest in usual activities. Having even one sign could mean help is necessary.

Those needing help are encouraged to call CHIMO helpline at 1-800-667-5005 or Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868. They can also contact their nearest community mental-health centre or consult their family doctor.

"Our government continues to implement initiatives in the Action Plan for Mental Health in New Brunswick 2011-2018," said Flemming. "We have 15 regional suicide committees, including one First Nations' suicide prevention task force, involved in various projects focusing on prevention, intervention and training. We are working together to improve mental health in New Brunswick and encouraging New Brunswickers to have a healthy focus on life."

Various activities will be held to educate the public about useful strategies, including advice about ways to cope with life stresses and to build resiliency.


●    Department of Health