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Mental health organization challenging people to take 11 seconds to change a life

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The Simcoe County Suicide Awareness Council is turning a negative statistic into a positive. 

Bernadette Copeland, Chair of the council, explains around 11 people die by suicide in Canada every day, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. “We’re trying to take the horrible stats around suicide and turn them into something else,” she says.

The idea is that you create an 11-second video doing something kind for yourself, or someone else, post it to social media, and tag the awareness council. “Everybody can do 11 seconds,” Copeland says.

While they’re based in neighbouring Simcoe County, Copeland says the council reaches far beyond county borders. In coordination with World Suicide Prevention Day in August, the council installed the sixth of their memorial benches in Gravenhurst’s Kinsmen Park. The benches are installed as a way to start a conversation about mental health, Copeland says, adding the hope is that they break down the stigma surrounding suicide.

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The 11-second challenge will continue until February, with a new video posted every Friday to the council’s Facebook page and other social media pages. Copeland hopes that the campaign catches on and people pay it forward.

“We want people to know there’s someone out there for them,” she finishes.

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