Susanne McLean from St. Clair Child & Youth Services accepting a donation from Sarnia-Lambton Kiwanis Club President Dick Felton. September 10, 2019. (BlackburnNews photo by Colin Gowdy)

Kiwanians mark suicide prevention day with donation

The Sarnia-Lambton Golden K Kiwanis Club has marked World Suicide Prevention Day by making a donation to St. Clair Child & Youth.

The club donated $3,500 at its meeting Tuesday morning.

Social worker and Suicide Prevention Committee Coordinator Susanne McLean says the children’s mental health centre in Point Edward served over 6,000 Sarnia-Lambton youth last year. She said the money will be put to good use.

“We have a walk-in clinic on Tuesdays and Thursdays that is our entrance way to services, so when families and children and youth come to our walk-in they’ll get a single session therapy. So we’re dealing with those issues right off the bat, helping them out with whatever they’re struggling with that day,” she said.

World Suicide Prevention Day began in 2003 to promote understanding about suicide and highlight effective prevention activities.

McLean said training for safeTALK, ‘Suicide Alertness For Everyone’ and ‘Tell, Ask, Listen, and KeepSafe,’ are offered at St. Clair.

“So safeTALK is just training people on how to recognize the signs that someone is struggling, what to say to them, where to direct them to get the help that they need. It teaches them how to keep that conversation open, how to ask them how they’re doing to make sure they’re okay.”

Susanne McLean from St. Clair Child & Youth Services speaking at a Sarnia-Lambton Kiwanis Club meeting. September 10, 2019. (BlackburnNews photo by Colin Gowdy)

Susanne McLean from St. Clair Child & Youth Services.

McLean said more youth and families dealing with mental health struggles are seeking help now.

“I would say definitely that the stigma of mental health is decreasing and people are more comfortable in talking about it and reaching out,” she said. “I think kids are just dealing with a lot more and families are a lot busier than ever before,” she said. “Kids are often involved in lots of activities, parents are busy working, so sometimes there’s just not the time for kids to just be able to be kids.”

According to the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, it’s estimated that 10 Canadians end their lives by suicide each day and 250 others attempt to

For more information on the Sarnia-Lambton Suicide Prevention Committee, click here.