A Short Story in 30 Tweets

Yesterday was Bell Lets Talk day, which is a campaign hosted by Bell Canada to reduce stigma and raise money for mental health initiatives. It is quite popular (though not without its criticism) and though Bell does need to do a better job of supporting its own people, overall I do think that the campaign does more good than harm. Yesterday I posted a series of numbered tweets with the #BellLetsTalk hashtag in order to do my part for the cause and to make a point about the need for more leadership and commitment from our governments to improve access to mental health care for Ontarians and all Canadians. I've included my tweets below (which when combined resulted in a total donation of a $1.50, thank you very much!). I've edited them into proper paragraphs and removed hashtags and other annoying Twitter trappings.  

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If Not Here, Then Where? And Why?

Image a family member, perhaps your brother or sister, or your friend or partner. Imagine they begin acting strangely. Isolating themselves. Saying bizarre things. Pacing. Tearful. Unable to be reached. Imagine they try to hurt themselves. Frightened and concerned, you would do what anyone would do and try to get them the help they so obviously need. Drive them to hospital, call 911, anything that was required.

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Suicide Prevention in Toronto

There has been a lot of discussion about the Toronto Public Health Board’s recent report to city council on suicide prevention. For some, it may be surprising to learn that suicide is the cause of more deaths in Toronto than motor vehicle accidents and homicide (about three and four times as many, respectively). In 2009, this translated to 243 deaths by suicide in Toronto.

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World Suicide Prevention Day

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day, a creation of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP). The goal is to help reduce stigma, encourage discussion, and ultimately reduce deaths by suicide.

Nearly 4000 Canadians die by suicide every year. In my former province of Alberta, the rate of suicide is higher than the national average and suicides account for more deaths per year in Alberta than motor vehicle collisions. If this surprises you, it may be because these deaths typically occur in the shadows of the public sphere and they are seldom talked about openly.

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