PEI

CMHA shares details of developing suicide prevention strategy

The Canadian Mental Health Association on P.E.I. is releasing more details about how it will move forward with creating a suicide prevention strategy for the Island.

'We don't want to duplicate work that has already been done'

The Canadian Mental Health Association on PEI is offering several free sessions to teach people to recognize the signs of suicide. (Submitted by the Canadian Mental Health Association, P.E.I. Division)

The Canadian Mental Health Association on P.E.I. has released more details about how it will move forward with creating a suicide prevention strategy for the Island. 

In April, the provincial government announced plans to partner with CMHA on the creation of a suicide prevention strategy. 

The association has assembled a team for the project, led by Amanda Brazil, CMHA's director of programs and policy.

The team has developed a work plan for the project and has identified some of the key steps involved. These include an environmental scan, local, regional and national research and consulting with stakeholders this fall.

The final report will include an accountability framework with progress indicators and a suggested implementation plan.

"We don't want to duplicate work that has already been done — we want to build on existing knowledge, research and recommendations. A careful review of this work along with a local environmental scan will help to inform and shape our stakeholder consultations scheduled for the fall," said Brazil in a release. 

'Islanders want to live and thrive'

CMHA has been involved in community-based mental health and suicide prevention efforts for several decades and has heard personal stories shared by Islanders.

The association said this knowledge, combined with existing provincial and federal reports and strategies has established a solid foundation for the development of an effective suicide prevention strategy for the province. 

"Our team was ready to get started on this project. The timing for a suicide prevention strategy for P.E.I. couldn't be better. Islanders want to live and thrive … we want to develop a strategy that supports that outcome," said CMHA executive director Reid Burke in a release.

People who would like to connect with the team to share information, research or other documentation relevant to the project can reach it at peisuicidepreventionstrategy@gmail.com. This email account is not constantly monitored and should not be used in crisis situations. 

Anyone needing emotional support, crisis intervention or help with problem solving in P.E.I. can contact The Island Helpline at 1-800-218-2885, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For more information about mental health services on P.E.I., find resources from Health PEI here, or from the Canadian Mental Health Association P.E.I. Division here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Krystalle Ramlakhan is a multi-platform journalist with CBC Ottawa. She has also worked for CBC in P.E.I., Winnipeg and Iqaluit.

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