About

The Elk Valley Suicide Task Force is a registered not-for-profit society in the province of British Columbia.

We promote awareness, prevention and support for those impacted by suicide in the Elk Valley.

Volunteers

Natalie Carruthers Hey there! My name is Nat and I am a member of the Suicide Task Force. I was really excited to join the team as I wanted to find some way to give back to the community and was so excited to see how the Task Force was already gaining awareness for mental health. I loved seeing the footage from the Dragathon this winter and was really inspired to get involved. I’m really excited for the events we’re hoping to make into annual affairs such as the Solstice ride, Dragathon, and Suicide Awareness Day.

Morgan Stock I have lived in Fernie since 2015, and I have experienced the healing power of the mountains, simplicity, and play. My love for skiing and a good coffee shop has made Fernie the perfect place to call home and start my young family. I believe that mental health needs more love, more candour, and more compassion. Through the EVSTF, I hope that we can continue to foster these things in our community and offer people safety and strength.

Eveliene Eijsermans Moving to Fernie has changed my life, in many amazing ways. But one thing that I have learned over the last 7 years of living here, is that Mental Health moves with you, lives within you, no matter your surroundings. Even though we live in this absolutely beautiful Valley, it does not automatically mean we are ok. And this needs to be talked about. Being able to find your escape in the mountains, does not equal a happy you, at all times. Mental Health goes much further than that, and that is ok. It is even human. Together, let’s get to a point where it is ok to talk about not being ok. 

Sherry Bylsma I have lived through the death of my most favourite person in the entire world, the loss of a child, postpartum depression, and starting over from absolute zero. I joined the EVSTF as I know how important a kind word can be, and how crucial support truly is for an individual’s mental health.

Megs Keevil (she/her) I was born in Vancouver and experienced a closeness to suicide at the age of 15. Mental health struggles have affected me and my family for most of my life and I am passionate about sharing the vulnerability of these experiences that touch all of us. I believe in the importance of expressing when we are struggling so we can learn to better help each other on this journey of life.

Sage Stevenson I became a member of the EVSTF to join the conversation about mental health and to de-stigmatize vulnerability. I feel you should be able to express yourself with others when you are overjoyed and when you are experiencing significant difficulties. It’s so important. Throughout my life, I have had both close friends and strangers open up to me about suicidal thoughts. This has increased my desire to take part in positive change and to promote the opportunity to talk to one another openly. We have goals we are working on to help support our community and keep those in it safe.

Melissa Lafortune I joined Elk Valley Suicide Task Force because I was inspired by the actions and efforts of its members. I have witnessed the profound impact of a community working to dismantle the stigma around suicide and creating safe spaces for candid conversations about suicide and mental health. I wanted to participate, in whatever small way I am able, in building awareness, sharing knowledge and supporting anyone impacted by suicide and mental health challenges.

Jill Viccars A mental health advocate drawn to the town of Fernie to explore, adventure and slow down. Joining the task force has enabled the continuation of previous non-profit work surrounding suicide prevention and the importance of fostering mental wellness within the community.

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