Today is World suicide prevention day, a day where we give people hope and let them know that suicide is preventable. At CMHO agencies across Ontario, our members are working hard everyday to provide support to kids and families with mental health issues and to work to prevent suicide in their communities.
Below are just a few of the initiatives being done by CMHO agencies to prevent youth suicides in Ontario
Peel Children’s Centre – Missisauga
It was announced this afternoon that Peel Children’s centre will be partnering on a 3 year pilot project called “Project Now” with the Ontario Government as well as Peel Region, the Peel District School Board, Trillium Health Partners, the Mississauga-Halton Local Health Integration Network and the Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board.
Project Now will provide education on evidence-based tools for teachers, families, and more in the Peel region and will help to provide standardized suicide screening tools for children and youth.
If this model proves successful, it could be released province wide. For more information you can view the government announcement here
Wellkin Child and Youth Mental Wellness -Woodstock, ON
Wellkin Child and Youth Mental Wellness has locations in Woodstock as well as St. Thomas, Tillsonburg, Ingersoll and Aylmer Ontario.
They are currently working with community partners in Elgin and Oxford to solidify a Crisis Pathway for youth to access services faster in a crisis. This will allow Primary Care Physicians to refer kids and youth to the Crisis Program at Wellkin and to have access to a Therapist within 48 hours. This is great news, allowing kids and families urgent access to life saving treatment.
Wellkin is also currently promoting the use of a new app in their region called the Be Safe App. Be Safe is a mobile app that aims to help young people make a decision about seeking help in a crisis.
Be Safe is unique because it was developed in full partnership with youth and professionals. It is a systems navigation tool that helps youth find help when they need it and supports them through the process of reaching out when it feels overwhelming.
Compass – Sudbury, ON
Compass is a child and youth mental health agency with locations in Sudbury, Espanola, Little Current and Chapleau Ontario.
Compass and other community partners have been very active in the last few years on working towards suicide prevention in their community. Over the past year they have held several summits, which have resulted in the creation of the “Suicide Safer Network”. The goals of the Suicide Safer Network are wellness promotion, suicide prevention and intervention, and clinical support services.
Youville Centre – Ottawa, ON
The Youville Centre uses the program Sources of Strength (SOS). It is a mental health wellness project that utilizes the power of peer social networks to change unhealthy norms and culture to ultimately prevent suicide, bullying, violence and substance use by promoting hope, help and strength.
The mission of SOS is to prevent suicide by increasing help seeking behaviors and promoting connections between youth peers and caring adults.
Chatham-Kent Children's Services - Chatham, ON
A huge way we can help to prevent suicide is to talk about and to raise awareness and that is exactly what Chatham-Kent Children's Centre is doing today. They are raising awareness in the community with their campaign to have community members tire a yellow ribbon around their trees and to light a candle near a window at 8pm. To prevent suicide, we need to teach our kids that it is okay to talk about it and that there are community mental health centres like Chatham-Kent Children's Services there to help.