Canadian Mental Health Association Launches Suicide Prevention Pilot Project

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Health News Radon

TORONTO – HEALTH – Following a press conference earlier today, The Canadian Mental Health Association, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge (CMHA HKPR) and Team55 announced the launch of a pilot project, Assertive Outreach for Suicide Prevention (AOSP), in collaboration with CMHA HKPR’s community mental health partners, including Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC). Dave Pogue of Team55 also announced an exciting fundraiser to support the AOSP program, to take place August 25th – “Breakfast with Babcock.”

AOSP will serve individuals who have been identified to be at high risk for ongoing or repeated suicidal behaviour. AOSP will operate under the umbrella of CMHA HKPR’s Hospital to Home Program. With informed consent obtained by Mental Health service providers, a Mental Health Clinician (MHC) will make direct contact with individuals who have been identified as being at ongoing risk for suicide. The referral may follow a visit to PRHC Emergency Department, a hospital admission or other experience that clearly denotes risk of suicide. This project continues CMHA HKPR’s strong partnership with PRHC, connecting hospital and community mental health services through several established CMHA HKPR programs, such as Hospital to Home and Four County Crisis Safe Beds.

Recruiting for the MHC by CMHA HKPR will commence shortly. The successful candidate will be highly skilled in suicide intervention skills, including professional qualifications that may include a Masters of Social Work, a Registered Nurse or Nurse Practitioner with an in- depth experience in mental health and suicidality. The MHC will assist individuals to maintain or create plans for their own safety, to address their immediate and short term needs. This may include housing supports, addiction counselling and other resources, while supporting them through the period of increased suicidality.

This pilot project was made possible by donations to CMHA HKPR, received through the local “Team55 – Let’s Tackle Suicide Awareness” initiative. Team55 has committed to raise

$40,000 annually towards the program, estimated to cost approximately $80,000 per year. The remaining funds will come from other CMHA HKPR fund raising resources.

Since 2013, CMHA HKPR has had a strong partnership with Team55, collaborating efforts to raise awareness, educate communities, and enhance skills for early detection and therapeutic responses to individuals at risk of suicide. This spring Team55 Founders Dave and Heather Pogue met with CMHA HKPR’s CEO Mark Graham, Director Gord Langill, Four County Crisis Manager Tracy Graham and Kerri Davies, Manager of Development, to explore opportunities to enhance local suicide prevention initiatives, pledging Team55 funds to support a project.

Following a CMHA HKPR review of best practices on suicide prevention, the concept of AOSP was developed. AOSP is a new and innovative approach to suicide prevention based on research and experience showing that up to 80% of those who die by suicide have made a previous attempt. Up to 30% of those who engage in suicidal behaviour go on to repeat their suicidal behaviour, and are at highest risk for further suicidal behaviour in the brief period following the incident. Research conclusions recommend that individuals be connected to appropriate treatment services immediately following the crisis response, or initial intervention. CMHA’s Gord Langill states, “This pilot project will focus our efforts and strengthen our collaborations for suicide prevention with our partners at PRHC and other community organizations. We are very grateful for the support of Team55, enabling us to move forward on this project.”

 

Dave Pogue is very pleased with CMHA HKPR’s response to Team55’s desire to enhance suicide prevention in the community. He states, “We are trying to create a suicide safer community. We are trying to save lives and we believe AOSP can really make a difference.” In conjunction with the project announcement, Team55 is very excited to present an exciting Fundraiser in support of AOSP, “Breakfast with Babcock”, which will take place at the Trentwinds International Centre on August 25th. Mike Babcock is an award winning coach including a Stanley Cup, 2 Olympic Gold Medals and multiple championships at every level of the sport. Pogue states, “Peterborough is a Hockey Town and there are a lot of Leaf’s fans anxious to see what Babcock can do. He’ll be here to talk about leadership, both on and off the ice….and he is very passionate about promoting better mental health in this country.”

Pogue met Babcock in Saskatoon in July at a fundraiser for the Neural Health Project, an initiative founded by Babcock and close friend, Dr. Dee Dee Maltman, following the suicides of two of their close friends. “Mike didn’t hesitate to offer his help when I approached him with the idea of holding a fundraiser for this new project, here in Peterborough. He is passionate to work towards improving mental health in this country.”

“Breakfast with Babcock”, presented by Platinum Sponsors – The Protectors Group – takes place August 25th at Trentwinds International Centre, Peterborough. Registration and coffee at 7:00, Breakfast served at 7:30 and Babcock will speak at 8:00. The event will wrap up by 9:00 a.m. There will also be a live auction. Gold Sponsors for the event include RBC Wealth Management and Ashburnham Realty.

Tickets are $75 per person ($55 tax receipt) and can be purchased August 5th 6th and 7th from 10-2 only at Pogues place of business, Peterborough Cold Storage (previously Baskin Robbins) at 375 Aylmer Street, Peterborough or by phone, from 10-2 at 705-748-5653.

Tickets are limited and it is expected the event will be sold out by end of the week. Opportunities for other sponsorship were still available at the time of this release.

For further information on AOSP please contact Gord Langill at 705- 748 6711 #2022.