Local CMHA Chapter Hosting Contest to Rename 'Suicide Hill'

AM800-NEWS-Canadian-Mental-Health-Association-Suicide-Hill-rename

For years, Suicide Hill at Little River Park in east Windsor has be a staple for families looking to have some fun outdoors.

And while it's just a nickname, the Canadian Mental Health Association Windsor-Essex County chapter is hoping the community will help rename it.

Director of Communications Kim Willis says language matters and combating the stigma related to suicide starts with how we talk about it.

Willis told AM800's The Afternoon News that this is an opportunity to educate the public.

"This hill has been known as Suicide Hill for so many years unofficially, but just having people refer to that, we think we can do a better job. This is an opportunity to have some conversations and education around suicide prevention and get the community engaged," she says.

Willis says a local paramedic brought the issue to the association's attention.

"There was actually a first responder who brought this hill to our attention and said we don't think that it's appropriate to have that name and how about we ask the community to engage to look for something that is more appropriate," she says.

Willis says the name can be offensive to some.

"The reality is that 4,000 Canadians will die of suicide in a year. So imagine if you are one of those families that has been affected," she says. "Just hearing that name thrown about in a casual manner, that can be triggering and re-traumatizing."

The association is holding a renaming contest for the hill and is asking residents to submit their ideas by June 18.

The winning name will be submitted to Windsor council for consideration.

CLICK HERE to find a form for the contest.

 

With files from Patty Handysides