Suicide awareness workshop helps save person in distress on a bridge

Victoria Police Department Deputy Chief Colin Watson presents a Civic Award to (left) Kate Roland and Alison Perry-Davies during a June 23 ceremony at Police Headquarters. Photo: Victoria Police Department

Peter Mallett 
Staff Writer

A Victoria-based author attributes a suicide awareness workshop for helping her save a person in distress on a bridge in Victoria.

“I am crying when I think about this incident and how I managed to save a life that day,” said Alison Perry-Davies. “I am still amazed I was at the right place in the right moment.”

Perry-Davies, 62, is a former Disability Case Manager for the BC Aboriginal Network. She is also an author of three books.

Being a military spouse, Perry-Davies heard about the Mental Fitness and Suicide Awareness workshop offered by PSP Health Promotions. What she learned in the workshop was crucial that day, she said.

According to the Victoria Police Department spokesperson Bowen Osoko, Alison Perry-Davies and Kate Roland were crossing a local bridge  when they encountered a person in distress. They both approached the person, and, relying in part on previous training and experience, were able to help de-escalate the situation and then provide care and comfort until officers arrived and brought the person to medical care, said Osoko.

Following the incident, the Victoria Police Department recognized Perry-Davies and Roland with a Civic Service Award in a ceremony at police headquarters on June 23. The award recognizes outstanding service to the communities of Esquimalt and Victoria. The award and the commemorative plaque were presented to Perry-Davies and Roland by Deputy Chief Colin Watson.

Life-saving skills

PSP Health Promotion Manager Maryse Neilson said the Mental Fitness and Suicide Awareness workshop is a suicide first aid course.

“It is incredibly heart-warming to learn Alison valued the workshop so much and used the skills she learned,” Neilson said. “I am so grateful she happened to be on that bridge.”

The course teaches participants about the Mental Health Continuum; how to look and listen for signs of suicide; how to ask the person at risk if they are thinking of suicide; and how to escort them to safety. Students then practise their skills in role-plays.

Perry-Davies’ role-play involved an individual on a bridge.

“This course really works,” she said. “They will go a long way to identify the warning signs and defuse situations for people who are looking to end their lives.”

Perry-Davies encourages others to take the course as well, saying it made all the difference that day.

Filed Under: Top Stories

About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.