Mental health and suicide prevention priorities in Halton Region

Often, those who struggle with mental health do not seek help for fear of what others may think or say. The biggest barrier to getting help can be opening up and talking to someone.

Thursday, September 10 was World Suicide Prevention Day and this year’s theme was ‘Reaching Out and Saving Lives.’  You can make a big difference by showing care and concern for someone who may be at risk of suicide. Ask about their well-being, listen to them in a non-judgmental way, and let them know you care.

The mental health of everyone in our community is a priority at Halton Region. To that end, the Halton Region Health Department is involved in several important mental health services and initiatives:

  • The North Halton Mental Health Clinic, with locations in Milton, Georgetown and Acton, is part of the Halton Region Health Department and offers free, confidential community-based psychiatric assessment, treatment, and counselling.
  • The Halton Region Health Department provides information, programs and resources on a wide variety of mental health topics. Whether you are a new parent struggling with postpartum depression, or a teen transitioning to high school or university, the Halton Region Health Department provides trusted online mental health information and resources.  Our Mental Health Liaison Nurses also provide support in elementary schools. Alternatively, you can speak directly with a Public Health Nurse, simply by dialing 311.
  • Halton Region is a key partner and supporter of the Halton Suicide Prevention Coalition (HSPC), whose goal is to reduce the stigma associated with suicide and mental illness. This year’s HSPC Annual Meeting and Community Workshop is taking place on November 20 and will feature two guest speakers: retired army veteran Lieutenant Colonel Stéphane Grenier and Sam Fiorella, one of the founders of the Lucas Fiorella Friendship Bench program.
  • Immediately following the Annual Meeting, the HSPC will also offer a half-day safeTALK suicide prevention workshop that teaches helpers to identify persons with thoughts of suicide and connect them to suicide first aid resources.
  • On October 9, Safe Communities Halton Hills will host a Community and Youth Educational and Awareness Day at Trafalgar Sports Park (Trafalgar Road/Maple Avenue, Georgetown) from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. with the goal of increasing communication and dialogue about mental health and suicide. Contact Maureen Andrew for more information.

I hope you will consider attending one of these upcoming events.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhaltonLinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.