It’s difficult to have an open and honest conversation about mental health. The ongoing stigmatization of people with mental health struggles is real and as a result people are reluctant to discuss their challenges for fear of repercussion. This needs to change.

World Suicide Prevention Day helps to remind us that we need to work to improve our mental health system so people going through mental health challenges can access the help they need. It’s also a reminder that sometimes, that help is us. Preventing suicide can often come down to a single person’s efforts, either through active listening, talking things through, or just being with someone.

Let’s work together to shift our society’s perceptions on mental health. Contact your local, provincial, and federal politicians to lobby for better funding for mental health programs in your community. Volunteer or donate to organizations that work in the field. Be there for your friends and co-workers when they are going through tough times. We’re all in this together.