In the wake of several suicide-related deaths in the region, a consortium of representatives from Niagara Region, Niagara Region Public Health, City of St. Catharines, Niagara Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) have come together to discuss potential solutions to an ongoing and very serious issue.
A collaboration with these stakeholders and local providers, as well as the Niagara Suicide Prevention Coalition, will be reviewing a variety of suicide prevention strategies. Infrastructure changes such as barriers, netting, and “help line” signage, as well as increased mental health awareness outreach and crisis services are among the options on the table, along with reducing the stigma and isolation of people with mental health concerns.
The group is currently working on gathering detailed information from first responders, Public Works staff, external bridge consultants and community mental health partners. The goal is to use hard evidence to best focus any and all resources and efforts.
Signs are being installed immediately by Niagara Region at key locations, providing support information for those in a mental health crisis. The NRPS will also increase their presence in downtown St. Catharines.
The group will meet again on Oct. 17, and will provide a further update then.
FOR IMMEDIATE RISK CALL 9-1-1
If you are in crisis or know someone who may be in crisis contact
COAST/Mental Health and Addictions Access Line: 1-866-550-5205 (for adults)
Pathstone Mental Health 24-hr Crisis Line: 1-800-263-4944 (for children & youth)