World Mental Health Day – Suicide Prevention Booth UC Director, School of Social Work, offers insight

World Mental Health Day – Suicide Prevention Booth UC Director, School of Social Work, offers insight

October 9, 2019

October 9, 2019

WINNIPEG “ … Suicide is preventable and can therefore be avoided, which is why all of our efforts and public policies should focus on prevention.” Dr. Alberto Trimboli, President, World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH)

Dr. Alex Sawatsky, Associate Professor and Director of Booth University College’s School of Social Work agrees.

“In my experience as a mental health clinician, I found that the topic of suicide remains difficult for family and other informal supports. Asking if your loved one is thinking about suicide will not introduce the thought. It can be a life saver and open up the conversation. I have found that many of the people I have worked with saw suicide as the one way to regain control, to make the suffering stop. This is a lonely and dark place, frequently silenced by shame.”

Along with a Masters and Ph.D. in Social Work, Dr. Sawatsky has 20 years of field experience in mental health. While in practice, he has worked in crisis stabilization, counselling and case management. He believes that talking about suicide brings it into the light and challenges stigma.

Dr. Sawatsky is highly regarded in the Winnipeg community, serving on the Manitoba College of Social Work and the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society Board of Directors. His desire to address the needs of those with severe and persistent mental illness remains a focal point of his teaching approach.

About Booth University College:

William and Catherine Booth University College, a Christian university college rooted in The Salvation Army’s Wesleyan theological tradition, brings together Christian faith, rigorous scholarship and a passion for service. The University College educates students to understand the complexities of our world, to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to be active contributors to society and to know how Christian faith compels them to bring hope, social justice and mercy into our world.


For more information, please contact:

Kimberly Kakegamic

Communications Specialist
Booth University College
Cell: (204) 918-8530
Toll-free: (877) 942-6684
Email: kimberly_kakegamic@boothuc.ca