Local CMHA hosting virtual candlelight vigils to mark World Suicide Prevention Day

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September 10 marks World Suicide Prevention Day.

To mark the occasion, the local chapter of the Canadian Mental Health Association is hosting a pair of virtual candlelight vigils to raise awareness while honouring those who have died by suicide.

Bereavement Educator Sonia Comartin says a number of local stories will be shared.

"We want to honour this day from different perspectives recognizing there are many people struggling, families supporting those struggling as well as families who have had a loved one die," says Comartin.  "So we're wanting to provide hope, support and perspective."

She says the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the mental health of many people.

"Although there has been more isolation and feelings of aloneness, we're still striving to always provide support," she says.  "We're hopeful that the messages we give will offer those pieces that people need to know that life is worth living."

Comartin says suicide affects far more than just the victim.

"When someone does die, that pain goes on to so many and for some people just being asked, "How can I help you?" is what we need to do to join someone where they're at so they can find that hope again," says Comartin.

The virtual candlelight vigils are planned for Friday at 12:30pm and 7pm via Zoom.

A link to attend can be found at windsoressex.cmha.ca.

— with files from AM800's Rusty Thomson