Most people would be surprised by the amount of suicides in Sault Ste. Marie, including young people. Often suicides are not reported but that does not mean it’s not a serious and growing problem. The province announced today additional funding to address teen suicides in over 30 communities.
The province is investing $1.9 million to support youth through its Youth Suicide Prevention Plan. Now in its third year, the plan is helping more families and youth access the supports they need in crisis situations.
The collaborative plan is helping 33 communities across Ontario enhance their local youth suicide prevention efforts. Its focus is on providing training and resources for professionals and adults who young people naturally confide in, such as parents, teachers, mental health workers and school nurses.
The plan includes:
Community-based youth suicide prevention planning resources, including provincial forums to educate and train agencies and community partners on best practices
Dedicated support for First Nations, Metis, Inuit and urban Aboriginal communities
The Together to Live online toolkit, which is a community resource created by the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health for community partners to help children and youth in crisis
Coaching for communities to develop long-term plans to sustain local youth suicide prevention efforts, which is a particular focus of this year’s funding.
Promoting the mental health and well-being of Ontario’s children and youth is part of the government’s plan to build Ontario up and ensure that every child and young person in Ontario has access to the right supports and opportunities.
September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day. This year’s theme is Preventing Suicide: Reaching Out and Saving Lives.
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’s Youth Suicide Prevention Plan was launched in 2013 and was developed in consultation with experts, those with lived experience and a diverse group of youth. It provided nearly $3 million for youth suicide prevention in its first two years.
The Youth Suicide Prevention Plan is a part of Ontario’s Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy.