Home // Health Tips // Mental Health // Suicide is preventable — with your help

Suicide is preventable — with your help

by | Sep 4, 2018 | Mental Health

What do NFL football star Junior Seau, pro wrestler Chris Benoit and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain have in common?

If you said “they were all hugely successful,” you’d be correct, but that’s not the answer we’re looking for.

Whether crushing quarterbacks, delivering body slams or kicking some serious butt in the kitchen, they were all tough, strong dudes, but again, that’s not it.

The grim fact, in all three cases, is that these “masculine celebrities” committed suicide. About 4,000 Canadians of all ages and backgrounds die by suicide. This works out to an average of almost 11 suicides a day, making it one of the most common causes of premature death for men in Canada.

On September 10, World Suicide Prevention Day promotes understanding of suicide and effective prevention. It highlights the fact that suicide occurs across all age, economic, social and ethnic groups. The pain that leads individuals to take their lives is unimaginable, and their deaths leave countless family members and friends bereaved and their communities shattered. As we’ve seen so many times, even people who appear happy and successful are at risk. So, how do we stop suicide?

Know the Signs

A serious physical or mental illness, or a bout of depression, are three of the more obvious signs that suicide is lurking. But it can be more subtle than that. If you notice a friend, family member or co-worker acting in any of these ways, they may be reaching out for help:

  • They are abusing drugs or alcohol.
  • They are experiencing a major loss, such as the death of a loved one, job loss or divorce.
  • They make remarks about death, dying or suicide.
  • They make repeated expressions of hopelessness, helplessness or desperation.
  • They start giving away prized possessions.
  • The start making preparations for death, such as taking out insurance, writing a will or talking about final wishes.

How to help

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to talk to the person about their situation. This may not be easy, so here are some tips that could make YOU a life-saver:

  • Make sure you listen without judgement. It is important that the person feels heard and able to express themselves freely.
  • Be honest about your concern for the person.
  • If possible, go with the person to get help. Crisis Centres, which are open 24 hours a day, are great places to start. Tell me more about suicide prevention.
  • Stay in touch with the person to see how they are doing.
Adam Bisby
Adam Bisby

Adam Bisby is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and father of two who has been covering men’s health for more than 20 years. As well as researching and blogging for Don’t Change Much since 2015, Adam’s award-winning work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and National Post newspapers, in magazines such as Explore, Reader’s Digest and Canadian Family, and on websites including MSN and Toronto.com. Visit Adam’s website for more information on what he does.

Do You Like This Blog?

As a national charity, we depend on your donations to provide our services to Canadians. Every contribution counts.

Your Donations Make a Difference


Your contribution will further men’s health programming, tool development, and research.

Don’t Change Much is a movement inspiring men and their families to lead healthier lives. With reliable information and easy tips, we know every guy and their family can make small changes that will have a big impact on their health.

More From

Mental Health

Deep Breathing: The Easiest Way to Keep Stress at Bay

Deep Breathing: The Easiest Way to Keep Stress at Bay

If you had $1,440 in your wallet, would you spend just one of those dollars to instantly feel healthier and happier? Of course, you would! The thing is, you don’t actually need a loonie or any cash at all to achieve this effect. All you have to do is spare a SINGLE...

3 Tips to Reduce Stress: Pandemic Life with the Whole Family

These days, life is anything but normal. It feels like no one ever leaves the house because of COVID-19. Living in a multi-generational South Asian home, the kids are running around, and the parents are ranting about something. It comes to a point where your stress...

3 Life Hacks All Dads Need to Know

3 Life Hacks All Dads Need to Know

It’s tough juggling work and family on a good day — let alone taking care of our health — and champion triathlete Simon Whitfield can relate more than you’d think. These days, as a business owner and father, Simon joins millions of other guys in a different kind of...

COVID Hair? How to Cut Your Own Hair: Men’s Survival Guide

COVID Hair? How to Cut Your Own Hair: Men’s Survival Guide

What do men talk about at home these days? Sports, news, hunting? COVID hair? There’s nothing worse for your self-image than finding oneself in desperate need of a haircut with no place to go due to COVID-19 lockdown. Tempted to take out the ol’ weed whacker and have...

Tackling COVID-induced Grocery Shopping Anxiety with Kindness

Tackling COVID-induced Grocery Shopping Anxiety with Kindness

Social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic is creating some elevated stress and anxiety for many, even in menial chores like grocery shopping. In one jarring hour, I experience thoughts of hyperawareness in the new COVID reality and turn to kindness to cope. My...

Let’s Talk!

Did you enjoy this article? Let us know in the comments.

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    We did everything we could to help our son……. he died by suicide anyway!!!

    When I read articles like this….. it just makes me feel like his Dad and I let him down. I truly believe our son had made up his mind and no matter what we did ….. the end would have been the same. That being said, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t feel guilty and ashamed.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our comments are moderated and are made live after they’ve been reviewed. If you disagree with anything in the article or comments please do let us know, but be polite so we can have a constructive discussion where everyone has the opportunity to learn.

Pin It on Pinterest