On Wednesday, Oct. 17, members of Niagara Region’s newly formed suicide prevention working group met to further explore preventative actions to respond to recent suicide-related deaths and the broader issue of suicide prevention in Niagara.
This follow-up to last week’s discussion included representatives from Niagara Region, Niagara Region Public Health, City of St. Catharines, Niagara Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS), Niagara Suicide Prevention Coalition (NSPC) and Niagara Health.
As a first step, and immediate response, Niagara Region Public Works staff have installed ‘help line’ signage around the Burgoyne Bridge, and is exploring the need for, and effectiveness of other preventative measures for various locations around the region based on local data and best practice in suicide prevention. In addition, NRPS has increased their presence in downtown St. Catharines.
The stakeholder group acknowledges that there continues to be a greater need for increased awareness of mental health outreach and crisis services, as well as the importance of reducing stigma and isolation of those with mental health concerns.
In response to this need, the group recognizes the leadership of the Niagara Suicide Prevention Coalition (NSPC) and has committed to working in concert with them to further support their ongoing efforts to implement suicide prevention strategies in Niagara.
The group will meet again in November to continue this important Region-wide collaboration on suicide prevention and to refine its workplan to align with that of the Niagara Suicide Prevention Coalition. Specific efforts will be made in the areas of local data analysis and system support. The group will continue to explore the role of local infrastructure in suicide risk including potential access restrictions, and will look more broadly at suicide prevention and mental health.
FOR IMMEDIATE RISK CALL 9-1-1
If you are in crisis or know someone who may be in crisis contact:
905-980-6000 ext. 3813