Alberta Centre for Injury Control & Research

Alberta Centre for Injury Control & Research

September 10, 2014 09:00 ET

Starting the Conversation: Suicide Prevention Campaign Uses Coffee Shops to Keep Him Here

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Sept. 10, 2014) - The Alberta Centre for Injury Control & Research at the University of Alberta, along with the Government of Alberta and the Alberta Suicide Prevention Network, including the Support Network and Distress Centre Calgary, are recognizing World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10 with an innovative, attention-grabbing suicide prevention campaign and media event at a local coffee shop.

Every year nearly one million people die by suicide around the world. That's one death every 40 seconds. Nationally, Alberta has the third highest provincial suicide rate.

In Alberta, suicide takes more than 500 lives annually. Often considered a problem faced by young people, one of the highest risk groups for suicide is middle-aged men. In fact, over 75% of Alberta's suicide deaths are men, most between the ages of 30-69.

Kathy Belton, Associate Director for the ACICR says "This number is shocking. We need to start the conversation with Albertans about what's happening to the men in our lives. These are our fathers, brothers, husbands, sons, uncles and grandfathers who are gone from our lives."

To address this shocking issue, the Alberta Suicide Prevention Network is launching Keep Him Here a new provincial campaign designed to start the conversation and empower those with middle-aged men in their lives to take the first steps and recognize the signs, start the conversation and reach out to help.

On September 10, people are invited to have a free cup of coffee or tea from 8:00-10:00 am, and learn more about the campaign at Trendz Café at the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute at the University of Alberta Hospital. Coffee shops are places where Albertans naturally gather to discuss what is happening at home, work, school and the rink. They are also a place where people can talk about mental wellness and suicide.

Provincially, communities across the province are hosting local Keep Him Here events to raise awareness of the issue.

Joan Roy, Executive Director with Distress Centre Calgary says "…the stigma around mental illness and suicide may prevent middle-aged men from reaching out and seeking support during times of crisis. If a man in your life is struggling, you can be the one to help him."

These sentiments are echoed by health care professionals and other suicide prevention agencies across the province that tackling suicide often starts with conversation about a man's mental health.

Dr. Michael Trew, Chief Addictions and Mental Health Officer with Alberta Health says "….as a physician I have been trained to relieve suffering and reduce preventable deaths. The World Health Organization estimates that 90 percent of all suicide victims have some kind of mental health condition. Suicide is preventable and this type of suicide prevention campaign makes for good medicine."

While Nancy McCalder, Executive Director with The Support Network in Edmonton says "…the important thing is that we all know the signs, try to start the conversation about suicide and reach out for help."

For more information on suicide prevention and how to start the conversation visit


The Alberta Centre for Injury Control & Research is provincial organization focused on injury prevention in Alberta and it is part of the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta. ACICR's vision is that Albertans work hard and play hard, free from life limiting injuries. ACICR strives to save lives by supporting communities and decision-makers with knowledge and tools necessary to address the causes of both intentional and unintentional traumatic injury. ACICR receives core financial support from Alberta Health.


Keep Him Here is proudly supported by the Alberta Centre for Injury Control & Research (soon to be known as the Injury Prevention Centre), the Government of Alberta, University of Alberta and the Alberta Suicide Prevention Network, which includes The Support Network (Edmonton) and Distress Centre (Calgary).

Contact Information

  • Alberta Centre for Injury Control & Research
    Marjorie Henderson
    Communications Coordinator
    780-492-9759 or Cell: 587-926-8001