As part of the Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, Ontario’s youth suicide prevention plan is helping communities to better respond to young people in crisis.
In Ontario, 10 per cent of students had serious thoughts of suicide in the past year and three per cent reported a suicide attempt. Suicide is five to seven times higher for First Nations and Inuit than non-Aboriginal youth.
Ontario is building on the first year of the youth suicide prevention plan and continues to support communities across the province to strengthen their youth suicide prevention efforts.
The initiatives include:
Funding to support local initiatives
In 2014-15, some child and youth mental agencies funded by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services will receive up to $28,500 from a $1 million provincial fund to support local suicide prevention efforts and engage with their community partners and Ontarians to:
- to raise awareness about mental health
- Build the capacity of their communities to respond to young people in crisis and prevent youth suicide.
Community youth suicide prevention efforts may include:
- Community awareness events to reflect ongoing work in this area with partner organizations such as Mental Health Commission of Canada;
- Providing community resources for youth, families and individuals who come in contact with youth in crisis;
- Helping communities assess local needs related to youth suicide prevention;
- Providing training for professionals who youth in crisis go to for help, such as teachers and primary care providers; or
- Building and enhancing collaboration among community partners, including local agencies, schools, health professionals and parents.
This funding is in addition to the $1 million investment in 2013-14.
As part of this plan, the ministry will also provide up to $750,000 for dedicated First Nations, Métis, Inuit and urban Aboriginal communities in recognition of their needs for culturally appropriate and community driven solutions. This funding is in addition to the $200,000 investment for Aboriginal partners in 2013-14.
Annual Provincial Mobilization Forums
As part of the second year of the youth suicide prevention plan, forums will be held across the province in 2014-15 to provide education and training on youth suicide prevention. They will help communities strengthen their youth suicide prevention efforts.
The forums build on the work done in the first year of the youth suicide prevention plan. They bring together professionals and adults whom young people naturally confide in and go to for help. This includes teachers, guidance counselors, mental health workers, school nurses and others who work with children and youth.
These forums help communities mobilize, build local plans, and improve their ability to identify and support children and youth at risk or in crisis.
Together to Live: a Web-based toolkit for communities
Together to Live is an online toolkit designed to help communities address youth suicide. Developed by the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health, the tool aims to help service providers working with children and youth in their efforts to bring their communities together to prevent youth suicide.
It aims to support communities in their efforts to implement and evaluate youth suicide prevention, risk management and postvention strategies using evidence-informed approaches. Further, it is also intended to connect communities to learn from each other’s experiences so we can help build capacity to address youth suicide across the province.
Find out more at www.togethertolive.ca.
Additional support for local community mobilization groups is provided through five coaches . They will help communities plan, implement and evaluate youth suicide prevention efforts.
Learn more about Ontario’s Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy.