Mental Health – Suicide Prevention
Suicide is a complex issue that affects individuals of any age, gender, or cultural background. As with any health initiative, suicide prevention, and awareness is most effective when tailored to specific age groups and communities. The Mental Health Commission (MHC) indicates that suicide is the leading cause of injury related fatality in Canada and the second leading cause of death amongst those aged 15–34. In 2009, the MHC estimated that 100,000 years of potential life lost to Canadians as a result of suicide. Of the 4,000 Canadians who die every year as a result of suicide, most were confronting a mental health problem or illness.
Phase One (2014-2015)
The Erie St. Clair LHIN 2013 Mental Health Implementation Framework identified a number of opportunities to address suicide prevention, awareness, and intervention.
Opportunities moving forward in phase one are:
- Adopt LHIN-wide suicide risk screening tools (hospitals, community and primary care)
- Adopt suicide assessment LHIN-wide for Emergency Departments (Psychiatric Assessment Nurses) and Community-Based Crisis Services.
- Establish care paths for suicidal youths and adults for each county based on evidenced based best practices
- Implement and or align with existing resources to raise awareness, promotion and prevention strategies that address stigma associated with suicide
Suicide Prevention Coordinator
The Erie St. Clair LHIN, has invested in creating the role of a suicide prevention coordinator. Under the leadership and oversight of the Executive Director of Alive!Canada, this position will address the existing needs for suicide prevention awareness and intervention strategies in communities across Erie St. Clair.
The coordinator will collaborate with agencies and existing community groups to develop and / or adopt suicide prevention programs and resources for various stakeholders including youth, the ethnic and diverse community, the elderly, First Nations People, primary care providers and first responders. The suicide prevention coordination will building on existing capacities to recognize and respond to people at risk of suicide using adult education practices.
Phase Two (2015):
The Erie St. Clair LHIN envisions that recommendations for sustaining gains achieved in the first year will be developed and presented to the Erie St. Clair LHIN Mental Health and Addiction Network for consideration. Sustaining the gains and maintaining momentuum are key deliverables for this important initiatve.