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NEED2 works every day to actively prevent suicide through an online portal for youth in crisis (Youthspace.ca) and through presentations in the schools. We run up against the stigma surrounding suicide so frequently we want to make a noise about it and shake things up.

We NEED2 B Heard.

While teen suicide has always been recognized as a significant problem it has recently had increased media exposure via the Amada Todd and Rehtaeh Parsons suicides.  Teen suicide is a consequence of social and health dysfunctions that are not caught early enough or treated well enough for the individuals who die by suicide.

The approximate annual 35 teen suicides in BC represent only the tip of the iceberg in terms of mental health dysfunction with 12% of mainstream BC youth contemplating suicide as an option to their pain and 5% attempting.

NEED2 has been directly involved in crisis intervention for 42 years (we ran the Victoria Crisis Line for 39 years) and have been going into local secondary schools in the CRD since 1996 to talk to youth about suicide prevention. As pioneers in this field we have found that youth do respond positively to these presentations. With every presentation we have youth who disclose they need some form of assistance from a counselor concerning their own suicidal ideation or one of their friends.

NEED2 also runs Youthspace.ca an online national crisis portal for youth to have live one on one anonymous chats and texting with highly trained volunteer counselors. Youthspace.ca is busy. Youth use the service to discuss suicidal ideation, anxiety, depression, family violence, and mental illness every night. Youthspace.ca has regular youth who depend on Youthspace to maintain their resiliency so they can get through another week of their lives. Youth are supported and often suicide avoided through the work of trained volunteers and staff 7 days a week.

The hours of operation however are not optimal; these services need to be open later into the morning hours to reach more youth in crisis. The restriction in these services is due to constraints in that volunteers do the majority of the chatting and the 1am to 4am shift is not practical for other than paid staff. And for that we need funding…

NEED2 is primarily a volunteer driven organization with a skeleton staff to assist, train, and motivate our volunteers.

WEBSITES: www.need2.ca   www.youthspace.ca   www.turnitup.ca

Contact: Chris Holt, Executive Co-Director, 250-386-6328, cholt@need2.ca