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Youth Suicide Prevention

I just realized how long it has been since I posted last!  My last post was January 15th.  Whhaaaaaaat?! What the heck have I been doing??

Well, the start of this year has been a little crazy.  January was gloomy but February was a rock star!  It was spent in SE Asia on my honeymoon J.  Pretty glorious, but I’m happy to be home.

One of the first articles I saw when I came home was an article about Partners for Mental Health’s call for the new Liberal government to create a $100 million youth suicide prevention fund in its budget.  I’m extremely proud to be a part of this organization – one that isn’t afraid to step up and call for change.

The reality is that suicide is the second leading cause of death among people in Canada ages 10 to 24, most who have made one or more previous suicide attempts.  Teens are admitted to the hospital for suicide attempts more than any other age group.  And suicidal ideation can start as early as 8 OR 9 YEARS OLD.  These stats are horrifying and should be disturbing to all Canadians. 

The plan would include creating youth suicide prevention programs in 25 different communities across Canada over the next five years, which could save approximately 127 lives.  The cost of the initial investment would be $100 million, but would end up saving $200 million over the five years.  It is said that provinces, territories and philanthropists would also match that cost.

The program would be based on the Nuremberg model.  The Nuremberg Alliance Against Depression first started in 2001 by the German Research Network on Depression and Suicidality.  The concept is based on cooperation with GP’s, an information and awareness campaign for the public, education training for multipliers (teachers, priests, caregivers etc), and support and initiative of self-help activities.  After 2 years of this intervention, the number of suicidal acts were reduced by a whole 24%.

It is my, and many others, belief that the Canadian government needs to send a message that the suicide stats in this country cannot be happening anymore.   We need these stats to stop, but we, people with mental illness, need to know our government acknowledges that mental illness is a serious issue.  That they’re taking it serious and it’s not being something that’s continually being swept under the rug anymore.

If you’d like to learn more about Partners for Mental Health and their initiatives, check out their website here:  http://www.partnersformh.ca