In Ontario, 10 percent of students had serious thoughts of suicide in the past year and three percent reported a suicide attempt. Suicide is five to seven times higher for First Nations and Inuit than non-Aboriginal youth. To address youth and suicide, Ontario’s Ministry of Children and Youth Services has launched the Youth Suicide Prevention Plan. It’s part of Ontario’s Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy and will attempt to help communities better respond to young people in crisis.
The plan includes:
- Regional Mobilization Forums around the province to provide education and training on youth suicide prevention to teachers, guidance counselors, school nurses and other people who work with children and youth about suicide prevention
- Creation of a Community Mobilization Guide of evidence-informed practices to help communities better respond to and support children and youth in crisis
- Funding and supports for communities to come together to implement best practices in youth suicide prevention
- Supports for Aboriginal communities to help them develop and deliver their own evidence-informed approaches
More information about how communities can access these programs and funding will be available soon. If you have questions, you can e-mail MCYSmentalhealth@ontario.ca.
Read more about the Youth Suicide Prevention Plan on the Ministry of Children and Youth Services website.
Other campaigns and activities on suicide prevention are taking place at the community and national levels:
- At the local level, specific CMHA branches in Ontario are leading or are involved with community coalitions on suicide prevention.
- At the national level, a new campaign entitled Right by You was announced by Partners for Mental Health and the former Mental Health Commission Board Chair, Sen. Michael Kirby. The campaign aims to reduce youth suicide rates in Canada by advocating for greater funding for children and youth mental health services, treatment and support. The Right by You campaign seeks public support in calling for an increase in the number of children and youth receiving mental health services, treatment and support. The campaign also calls on the federal government to invest $100 million over four years in a national suicide prevention fund.
Visit the Right by You campaign website to learn more.