LGBTQ Advocate to headline 23rd Annual Suicide Awareness Conference April 20th
LGBTQ Advocate to headline 23rd Annual Suicide Awareness Conference April 20th
Posted on 04/07/2017

LGBTQ Advocate to headline 23rd Annual Suicide Awareness Conference April 20th


Each year, about 4000 Canadians die by suicide. It’s a complicated issue and there are many different situations and experiences that can lead someone to consider suicide. But it is preventable and we need to talk about it. 

The Annual Suicide Awareness Conference of Simcoe Muskoka aims to do just that. Now in its 23rd year, it is an educational conference for mental health professionals, consumers, family members, police, teachers, emergency service workers and anyone else interested in suicide prevention.

This year’s keynote speaker, Jeremy Dias, brings his own story of survival and the message that one person can truly make a difference. 
Growing up in Northern Alberta, Jeremy knew he was different. After moving to Sault Ste. Marie Ontario for high school and coming out as gay, he endured years of bullying and beatings. When his school principal refused his request to start a gay-straight alliance, he filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission of Ontario. Five years later, he won, and used the $5,000 settlement to start Jer’s Vision, now called the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity.

“I really want to share the message that this journey is led by community and by individuals helping each other,” says Dias. “I really wish we had a conference like this when I was in high school.”

Jeremy Dias

The conference features eight workshops to choose from including one facilitated by local activist and author Natalie Harris, whose book Save-My-Life School – a first responder’s mental health journey was released in January.


For $75 you get the conference, lunch and information booths from local agencies. Register today before it’s sold out. Visit cmhastarttalking.ca/special_events for registration information. 
Jeremy Dias, founder of The International Day of Pink against bullying, discrimination, homophobia, transphobia, and transmisogyny across the world is the keynote speaker at the 23rd Annual Suicide Awareness Conference of Simcoe Muskoka.