First Light: Suicide Prevention Community Council of Hamilton
On Tuesday, February 28th our guest speaker was Dr. Sid Stacey. Sid is the current Chair of the Suicide Prevention Community Council of Hamilton (SPCCH) and facilitated the launch of the city-wide Hamilton Suicide Prevention Strategy in 2010 and also Co-Chairs the LHIN 4 Regional Suicide Prevention Committee. He told us the very tragic story of his own daughter’s suicide which started him advocating for suicide awareness.
To honour his daughter Sid started the “Running for Rachel” run in September of each year. The run raises funds which go to school based programs raising awareness for mental health issues. Sid met Harold Grunenberg through the Ride Away Stigma ride which begins at the Driving Park in Dundas. This ride was originated by Danielle Berman whose father took his own life. Funds raised by both Rachel’s Run and Ride away Stigma are administered by the SPCCH.
After his loss, Sid threw himself into his own training. He has done several triathalons and recently completed the Pyrenees to Girona (Catalonia, Spain) ride. He concluded his presentation by passing out cards entitled “Suicide is Everyone’s Responsibility” that contain a several useful tips for identifying when a person is contemplating suicide.