A community based approach to youth suicide prevention: Establishing a Youth Suicide Prevention Task Group to prevent and improve response to youth suicide in Thunder Bay.
|Project Type:||Community Mobilization Awards|
- To work collaboratively in order to effectively reduce the incidence of youth suicide and increase acute response times to youth suicide by establishing a Youth Suicide Prevention Task Group - To increase knowledge and awareness of issues related to youth suicide - To mobilize the community and build its capacity to deal with youth suicide and other tragic events
Youth suicide became a pertinent issue in Thunder Bay in March 2007, when two unrelated youth suicides occurred at two different high schools within the same week. These incidents overwhelmed the local hospital, high schools and mental health services providers. The community was unprepared to deal with the consequences of suicide. A call-to-action was put out to bring the community together to discuss how to prevent and improve response to youth suicide in Thunder Bay.
A thorough review on youth suicide prevention will be conducted in order to establish a starting point for evidence-based strategies for the Youth Suicide Prevention Task Group. Information will be gathered from community members through a number of different activities including youth and parent consultation forums, a stakeholder luncheon, community mobilization workshops, and youth representative presentations.
During forums and consultations, several suggestions were made by youth, parents, community members and service providers including talking openly about suicide and not ignoring it, having supports in place who will listen to the concerns of both youth and parents, having presentations on suicide sharing stories and warning signs, bringing topics related to suicide into the curriculumn, training and educating teachers, having workshops and internet groups for youth and parents and putting information in school newsletters. This project brought together agencies from different sectors to work towards a common goal. The Task Group, made up of decision-makers from various agencies across the community, developed the Thunder Bay Youth Suicide Fan-Out Crisis Response, a response plan of various service providers and the hospital committing to the school boards for the provision of services in the event of a suicide. This project has increased awareness about youth suicide in Thunder Bay.