NEWS RELEASE – September 5, 2013
Suicide Prevention Council to fund Suicide Ideation Group
Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council is funding a 20 week pilot group for individuals in our community that experience suicide ideation but have never attempted suicide. This group will run out of the Self Help Alliance, a division of the Canadian Mental Health Association, Waterloo Wellington Dufferin.
The suicide ideation group is modeled after the Skills for Safer Living Group for individuals who have attempted suicide and is currently available in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge and Guelph, also through the Self Help Alliance. Although only brought to our Region in 2010, over 100 individuals who have attempted suicide have benefited. “The support of the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council for this pilot project is vital to be able to expand the range of supports available to those experiencing thoughts of suicide” states Allan Strong, Team Leader, Skills for Safer Living and the Centre of Excellence in Peer Support.
“It is imperative that we continue to bring groups like these to our community so that individuals that are struggling with suicidal thoughts or have attempted suicide can learn different skills to help them cope differently. We teach people that have had a heart operation nutrition skills and the value of cardio, why should we expect any different with emotional based skills? If someone doesn’t learn to do something differently or to learn new skills, they will continue to resort to the same coping methods and that is unacceptable” says Tana Nash, executive director of the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council.
World Suicide Prevention Day is this Tuesday September 10th. In addition to hosting events to support this day, the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council highlights some key initiatives they are working on in collaboration with community partners to reduce suicides: A new wallet sized help card and resource card for youth developed by the Council will be distributed to all counseling offices throughout secondary schools of the Waterloo Region District School Board. The Board is also currently reviewing their suicide prevention protocols. Lutherwood has introduced a My Life Matters Day at its school to help troubled teens overcome suicide ideation, and has added community workers as a resource for certain local institutions working with children such as a Mental Health Youth Court Worker for the provincial court system. At Grand River Hospital, a ‘wellness call’ was introduced earlier this winter. Any adult patient who has been hospitalized with thoughts of suicide or after an attempted suicide will receive a call from a hospital social worker within 72 hours of their discharge. “Making a connection to those that have attempted suicide is a crucial step in showing we care” says Judy Shearer, AVP of the Mental Health and Addictions Program at Grand River Hospital. In addition, Grand River hospital will be piloting two booklets aimed at helping individuals and their loved ones after a suicide attempt.
“It is our hope that the Skills for Safer Living Ideation Program will receive ongoing funding so that all individuals who would like to take part in this group can,” Nash said. “But for now, it is a huge step in the right direction.” The group has graciously been funded by the Bowl-a-thon fundraising efforts of the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council and the Daniel Tudisco Memorial Golf Tournament. “We are exceptionally fortunate to have the generous support of the community so we may provide these types of programs” Nash added.
For more information about the Skills for Safer Living Ideation Group, please contact Allan Strong at email@example.com.
Tana Nash, Executive Director
Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council
519-884-1470 ext 2143 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to learn more about World Suicide Prevention day: SEPTEMBER 10th