Lethbridge Family Services offering Suicide Awareness presentations

May 14, 2021

1107 2A Ave North
Lethbridge AB, T1H 0E6
Phone: 403 327-5724

Press Release

Lethbridge Family Services offering Suicide Awareness presentations

Lethbridge, May 12, 2021: This is a time like no other in our lives. By now, we have all been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been devastating to so many. Among the effects linked to the crisis are increased risk factors for mental illness, including social isolation, unemployment, and financial difficulty. In fact, the mental health crisis is becoming a “parallel pandemic” of COVID-19 across the globe. (United Nations 2021)

Findings released on March 18, 2021 by Statistics Canada in collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada have shown substantial increases in symptoms of anxiety and depression associated with COVID-19 among adults. One in five (21%) Canadian adults aged 18 and older screened positive for at least one of three mental disorders that were assessed: major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). (Statistics Canada 2021)

According to Dr. Daphne Korczak, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, children up to 18 years old appear to be struggling more across six domains of mental health compared to their pre-pandemic selves. (The Hospital for Sick Kids 2021)

“There are increased concerns about pandemic-related risks of suicide in Canada and elsewhere. Studies from different countries present a complex picture with varying suicide trends, but increased rates of depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation were found to be consistent across countries.” (The Conversation 2021)

“Everyone can be a support to people around them. Check in with people, know where to connect them to supports in your community,” says John Thompson, Outreach & Education Supervisor, Lethbridge Family Services.

Suicide awareness and prevention is a critical public health response to COVID-19. Lethbridge Family Services believes that the current circumstances present opportunities to improve suicide awareness efforts and can help increase help seeking, decrease stigma and increase awareness. LFS offers online Suicide Awareness, Suicide Prevention, Suicide Intervention, and Postvention 1 – 3 hour presentations.

Lethbridge Family Services provides the following services to enhance and support those affected by suicide. Education can help reduce stigma, increase awareness, increase help seeking.

  • Understanding Suicide Presentations offer an introductory level of education about the subject. This is ideal for community members, services groups, youth etc.

  • Suicide Prevention Workshops build upon awareness by fostering the development of active listening skills, recognizing tipping points and discussing potential resources. This is ideal for participants new to the field and/or administrative and support staff, such as receptionists, clerks, custodians etc.

  • Suicide Intervention Training incorporates awareness and prevention into a two day accredited training that also offers Standardized Risk Assessment training through the steps of the R.A.P. Model (Rapport Building, Assessing the Individual, Plan for Intervention). This training also highlights the importance of resiliency and self-care as they relate to the client and their worker. This training is intended for Gatekeepers, such as social workers, counsellors, teachers and any others working directly with potentially at risk populations.

For more information, contact:

Media Calls:

Lisa Lewis
Director, Counselling, Outreach & Education
Lethbridge Family Services
(403) 327-5724

More Resources


  • Kluge, Dr. Hans (2021, January 28). COVID-19: Mental Illness, a “Parallel Pandemic”. United Nations. https://unric.org/en/covid-19-mental-illness-a-parallel-pandemic/
  • Statistics Canada: Survey on COVID-19 and Mental Health, September to December 2020. (Released 2021, March 18). https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/210318/dq210318a-eng.htm
  • Korczak, Dr. Daphne. (2021, February 26). New research reveals impact of COVID-19 pandemic on child and youth mental health. The Hospital for Sick Children. https://www.sickkids.ca/en/news/archive/2021/impact-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-child-youth-mental-health/
  • Fung, Kenneth and Pui-Hing Wong, Josephine. (2021, April 19). Suicide prevention during COVID-19: The healing power of connection and mutual support. The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/suicide-prevention-during-covid-19-the-healing-power-of-connection-and-mutual-support-152311

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Working with Our Community

Located on the traditional lands of the Blackfoot Confederacy, Lethbridge Family Services is committed to honouring the land from a place of knowing. We honour the Siksikaitsitapi as both the traditional and current Land Keepers of this area, and we welcome all First Nations, Métis, Inuit and non-Indigenous peoples who call Blackfoot territory their home.