Words Matter: World Suicide Prevention Day 2022

Published: Saturday, September 10, 2022
Students facing away from viewer with arms around each other | text: World Suicide Prevention Day

Written by: Bella McKenzie, Communications Coordinator Co-op

Graphic Design by: Natalie Szwec, Graphic Designer Co-op


World Suicide Prevention Day is a reminder to everyone that we must work together to prevent and destigmatize suicide. The more we educate ourselves, debunk myths and stigmas, and learn how to be there for one another, the better! 

The purpose of World Suicide Prevention Day is to spread awareness, destigmatize suicide, and spread the message that suicide can be prevented. Using supportive and appropriate language when talking about suicide or mental health is a first step and great way to support those around you.


Words Matter: What to Say When Talking About Suicide 

Instead of this… Say this 

Suffering from/struggling with a mental illness  Living with a mental illness/experiencing a mental illness 


[Name] is schizophrenic  [Name] has schizophrenia, is living with schizophrenia 


Committed suicide/successful suicide attempt  Died by suicide/death by suicide/lost their life to suicide 


Unsuccessful/failed suicide attempt  Survived a suicide attempt/ non-fatal suicide attempt 


Their parent/partner/friend should’ve seen this coming  Your loss matters, your grief matters, please know that whatever you’re feeling is okay 


What a coward  If you’d like to talk about them, and your time together, I’m here to listen 


How did it happen?  I’m sure you have a lot on your plate right now. I’m here to listen, hug, whatever you need 


If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, we urge you to take advantage of the resources WUSA, the University of Waterloo, and other organizations have available.  

These resources include:  


Empower Me – 1-833-628-5589 

  • Empower Me is a mental health and wellness service that supports existing on-campus and Studentcare mental health resources with professional counsellors, a toll-free 24/7 help line, etc.

MATES (Mentor Assistance Through Education and Support) – Book an Appointment 

  • MATES is a peer-support service for undergraduate students experiencing social, academic, and/or low-level mental health challenges. 


University of Waterloo 

Counselling Services – 519-888-4096 

  • UW’s Counselling Services are team of professionals that provides individual or group counselling services, at no charge, in a private and confidential setting, to University of Waterloo students. 

Health Services – Student Medical Clinic – 519-888-4096 

  • The Student Medical Clinic provides health care visits, located at the Health Services building across from the SLC.  


Good2Talk – 1-866-925-5454 

  • Good2Talk is a free 24/7 support service where students can talk to a professional counsellor, a trained volunteer crises responder, or search for campus and community services. 

Here 24/7 – 1-844-437-3247 

  • Here 24/7 is a support service for addictions, mental health, and crisis services from 11 agencies in Waterloo. This includes intake, assessment, referral, crisis, waitlist, and appointment booking.  


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