Walking to grow the flame

“To intervene in suicide prevention is to revive the part of the human who wants to live, to identify the flame that remains and to make it grow,” explains Sylvie Potvin of JEVI Estrie, interviewed during the 17th World Food Day. suicide prevention.
Theteam JEVI organized on Tuesday a first walk around the Lac des Nations under the theme of the day “Working together to prevent suicide,” a meaningful message supporting the importance of acting in community.

The organization’s 15 employees, ten of whom are stakeholders, responded to more than 18,000 calls over the past year, a doubling of calls that had been recorded five years earlier, in 2014. “That’s in itself good news, because more and more people are calling on our services, “notes Ms. Potvin pointing out that the number of suicides, it is rather stable over the years, averaging just one per week in Estrie .

In the territory of Sherbrooke alone, 21 people committed suicide in 2018 and 14 were committed between January 1 and August 31, 2019.

The causes of the psychological distress of the users of the punctual telephone service are diverse. “Of course, there is a lot of mental health. But also breaks and psychological problems. In fact, it is often failures or rather the perception of failure that people have in front of an event “, says the speaker adding that a call can last between three minutes and two hours, but that on average it is necessary 20 minutes to assess the dangerousness of the situation.

“A person has already contacted us because his green plant was dead. It is not the cause that is important and it should not be judged. It’s the part that suffers people that takes all the place and all the excuses become reasons to end, “gives an example Ms. Potvin.

“A person has already contacted us because his green plant was dead. […] All pretexts become reasons to end. ”
– Sylvie Potvin

Another part of the team had set up a kiosk in a Sherbrooke company. “The company was touched by suicide in the last year so we were called upon to be a sentinel of nine employees. These employees expressed their interest on a voluntary basis to have training that will allow them to be sensitive to the distress of the people around them, to be able to chat with them and then refer them to us. Some companies are upstream and others are appealing to us after a sad event, “said Ms. Potvin, noting that this service is offered free to businesses in the region.

JEVI Estrie is still waiting for its crisis center, a center that exists in other regions and can be overseen by the organization. “The Crisis Center is a temporary shelter where people can safely go to a place and be surrounded by resources while they reorganize themselves in times of psychosocial or suicidal crises. We can also talk about a sobering bed where people take their minds before they can be helped, “said Ms. Potvin, stating that the center would relieve emergencies.

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