Released on May 8, 2020A new suicide prevention plan will coordinate activities to promote life and reduce risk factors related to suicide in Saskatchewan. Rural and Remote Health Minister Warren Kaeding released Pillars for Life: The Saskatchewan Suicide Prevention Plan today, a collaborative approach to suicide prevention.
“Mental health continues to be a high priority for our government, our health system and our communities,” Kaeding said. “This plan will guide activities specific to suicide prevention based on Saskatchewan’s context. It was informed by careful consideration of approaches across the country and international best practice.”
Actions outlined in the plan include expanded use and monitoring of suicide protocols, and enhancement of research, data and surveillance for local suicide prevention.
Saskatchewan is one of six provinces that has implemented the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s Roots of Hope program. Roots of Hope has been established in three Saskatchewan communities: La Ronge, Meadow Lake and Buffalo Narrows.
“As psychiatrists, we have of course been very concerned by the high suicide rate in Saskatchewan,” Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Interim Head, Provincial Department of Psychiatry at the University of Saskatchewan Dr. Malin Clark said. “A comprehensive plan that includes not only delivery of enhanced mental health services but also addresses social factors that contribute to hopelessness and increased suicide risk is necessary as we move forward in efforts to change this statistic.”
The plan complements broader activities recommended in Saskatchewan’s Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan. It includes public awareness efforts aimed at northern indigenous youth, a population with a suicide rate significantly higher than the general youth population.
“We want to make sure people know help is available for those who may be thinking about suicide,” Kaeding said. “The Saskatchewan Health Authority and many community partners are contributing to this work. We all recognize the need to do more.”
HealthLine 811 continues to offer free, confidential, mental health advice, education and support for all residents of the province. Pillars for Life: The Saskatchewan Suicide Prevention Plan is posted at https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/health-care-administration-and-provider-resources/saskatchewan-health-initiatives, along with information about resources available on suicide prevention and mental health.
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