World Suicide Prevention Day at Canatara bandshell. September 10, 2015 ( Photo by Briana Carnegie)

New Protocols For Suicide Prevention

Efforts are continuing to help prevent suicides in Sarnia-Lambton.

Representatives from 25 organizations recently met to start developing an enhanced community-wide suicide protocol.

They identified three priority areas including “postvention”, prevention by targeting specific at-risk groups and making more training available, and life promotion.

Sarnia-Lambton Suicide Prevention Committee Chair Sharon Berry-Ross says many supports have been launched in the past five years.

They include the walk-in clinic at the St. Clair Centre For Children and Youth.

“I know that’s been very well used and they’re expanding that into the county,” says Berry-Ross. “The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is now placing staff directly into the hospital setting so there’s a better and quicker response. Even with postvention, there are a couple of social workers through Rapids Parkway who started an SOS support for survivors of suicide.”

The group will be working closely with Youth Suicide Prevention Consultant Cecilia Marie Roberts to understand the best practices regarding suicide prevention strategies.

They’ll meet again on June 22, and details of the protocol will be released in the coming months.

In 2016, there were 2,873 mental health and addiction-related emergency department visits among Lambton residents.

The number of emergency department visits is greatest among those aged 15 to 24, and females made up about 60% of visits in this age group.