Unofficial name of Little River Park hill risks 'glorifying or celebrating' suicide: CMHA

·2 min read
The top of these steps mark the peak of Suicide Hill in Little River Park. The hill been given that name — unofficially — by people in the area. (Submitted by Kevan Donais - image credit)
The top of these steps mark the peak of Suicide Hill in Little River Park. The hill been given that name — unofficially — by people in the area. (Submitted by Kevan Donais - image credit)

The Canadian Mental Health Association is looking for suggestions to rename a popular tobogganing spot in east Windsor — unofficially known as "Suicide Hill."

The CMHA is accepting submissions for a new name on its website until June 18. The top-five submissions will be shared with the community, with the name receiving the most votes going to Windsor city council for consideration.

"We believe the time is now to officially name this hill with a proper name since research indicates glorifying or celebrating suicide can be detrimental to the work we are doing in education and prevention," said CMHA director Kim Willis.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, 4,000 Canadians die by suicide every year and is the second leading cause of death for youth and young adults.

We must be aware of outdated language used in media, in everyday lives and even in unofficial situations if we are going to change the conversation around suicide." - Kim Willis, Canadian Mental Health Association

"In the last few months, we've heard stories where, over a weekend, there might be a couple of suicide attempts. Certainly, overdoses are really on the rise over the last few months, too," said Willis. "Whether that's accidental or intentional, we don't know? But we just know it is a really significant issue in this community."

"Even going into the pandemic, there is lots of data that would suggest that for every percentage increase around an unemployment rate, it mirrors the suicide rates for that region. So we have several causes for concern."

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit's most recent statistics on local incidents of self-harm date back to 2017, indicating they were tied to 363 emergency department visits that year.

"We must be aware of outdated language used in media, in everyday lives and even in unofficial situations if we are going to change the conversation around suicide," Willis added.

The winning submission will also receive a $100 cash prize.

If you need help:

Canada Suicide Prevention Service: 1-833-456-4566 (Phone) | 45645 (Text) | crisisservicescanada.ca (Chat).

Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention: Find a 24-hour crisis centre .

Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 (Phone), Live Chat counselling at www.kidshelpphone.ca.

Young people can also text the word CONNECT to 686868 to chat confidentially with a trained, volunteer Crisis Responder for support. 24/7/365.