We are proud buddy up champions!
What is buddy up?!
Buddy Up is a men’s suicide prevention communications campaign: A call to action to men, by men!
In Canada, men have a suicide rate three times higher than women. Why?
Society has socialized men to be strong, stoic, and self-reliant; showing emotion is a sign of weakness, as is asking for help.
Further, men are underserved by our traditional health and social service sectors. Men are dying in alarming numbers, all around us, alone.
How can we change this reality?
1 · PAY ATTENTION
Any noticeable change in his behaviour is a warning sign your friend might not be doing well. These changes include:
- Not texting or calling as much
- Drinking more than usual
- Appearing tired and distant
- Talking about how much life sucks
- Being more irritable or angry
2 · START A CONVERSATION
Choose a comfortable setting.
- Over the phone
- While driving in the car
- Over drinks at a favourite hang out
- While working on a project
Mention what you’ve noticed.
- “I haven’t heard from you much these days. Is everything okay?”
- Don’t blame or shame him.
3 · KEEP IT GOING
Ask questions and listen to what he’s saying.
- “The other day you said your life sucks… what’s that like for you?” Avoid instantly problem-solving.
- Don’t make it seem like he’s overreacting, and don’t change the subject.
- Back him up and acknowledge his feelings: “That sounds really hard.”
- If you’re still worried about him, ask: “Are you thinking about suicide?” If he says yes, don’t panic.
- Let him know you’re there for him: “Thanks for telling me. That’s really hard to do. Can you tell me more about it? I’m here for you.”
4 · STICK TO YOUR ROLE
You’re a friend, not a counselor.
- Who else has he told? Encourage him to reach out to others.
- Call Canada Suicide Prevention Service together: 1-833-456-4566
- Following the conversation, check-in with him often.
- If he has imminent plans to die, contact 911 and ensure he is not left alone.