Jasper LIFE, coffee shops spread awareness about mental health

·2 min read

Jasper LIFE partnered up with local coffee shops around the town in recognition of World Suicide Prevention Day on Sept. 10.

World Suicide Prevention Day is an event recognized globally that aims to raise awareness and strengthen commitment and actions to prevent suicide.

It brings communities and organizations together in a collaborative effort to save lives.

Throughout Alberta, many communities took part in activities to raise awareness around suicide.

Jasper LIFE decided to spread awareness through the use of stamps and stickers displayed on coffee sleeves that were distributed throughout local coffee shops.

“Through the stamps and stickers on the coffee cups, we were hoping to bring about mental health awareness for International Suicide Prevention Day, as well as our local Community Helpers Program,” said Outreach Worker Ian Goodge in an email.

Jasper LIFE also wanted to bring awareness to their local Community Helpers Program.

This is program is a suicide prevention program for youth and adults 12 years of age and older.

The Community Helpers Program takes place in a community-based settings such as schools, workplaces and community organizations.

It enhances community capacity for mental health through an asset-based approach.

In every community, there are people whom others naturally turn to for support. They are from all walks of life and are considered by others to be helpers. Helpers possess characteristics like empathy, care and compassion.

The Community Helpers Program identifies these helpers and offers training to strengthen their natural abilities.

Helpers learn a variety of topics and skills including effective communication, self-care, coping with stress, knowing when to refer people to professional services, handling crisis situations and suicide awareness. In addition to developing skills and increasing knowledge, helpers are introduced to community services and professional supports.

“This connection bridges informal and formal supports in the community, enabling helpers to refer peers and family to expert support when needed,” Goodge added.

Those interested in training to become a Community Helper or have any questions can contact Goodge at igoodge@town.jasper.ab.ca

Every year more Albertans die by suicide then those who die in motor vehicle collisions.

Through what AHS calls REACH:

Get help 24/7 by calling 811 or 1-877-303-2642.

Ali Howat, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Jasper Fitzhugh

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