Suicide is the 2nd cause of death in young people; 31% increase for the average wait time for assessment - 47 days

News 100 greenBy Staff

September 10, 2015


That we even have a World Suicide Prevention Day is painful – we shudder when we hear the words and try to brush away the thought when we think of families we know that have experienced a loss.

The Burlington Community Foundation (BCF) Mental Wellness Alliance is sharing information in an effort to raise awareness and discuss suicide prevention.

Some of the difficult truths about suicide in our communities include:

– Suicide is the 2nd cause of death in young people
– 1 in 5 Ontarians experience mental health problems and addictions
– 1 in 4 teens and young adults in their 20’s will experience mental health issues in Ontario
– 71% of family physicians ranked access to psychiatrists in Ontario fair to poor
– Youth and families can wait for months or up to 2 years for services
– Joseph Brant Hospital Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic reports:
– 16% increase from 2010-11 to 2011-12 in case load
– 31% increase for the average wait time for assessment – 47 days

Suicide - last threadAs outlined in BCF’s Vital Signs Reports, mental health issues are growing. To address this imminent need BCF launched the Mental Wellness Alliance in April 2015 by bringing together a diverse and knowledgeable group of over 55 leaders from a broad cross-section of mental health perspectives. These include practitioners, policy makers, program service delivery organizations, civic leaders, interest groups, partners, caregivers and individuals living with mental health issues. The participants are from Halton Region through to Hamilton. BCF is leading the efforts and recognizes these “communities” are interconnected from both a needs and delivery of programs/services perspective.

Brian Hansell, co-chair of the BCF Mental Wellness Alliance knows all too well how devastating suicide can be. His son Paul lost his life to suicide in December 2010. To help ensure that other families don’t face the same tragedy and to do something in memory of Paul, Brian founded the Paul Hansell Foundation. Its mandate is to promote programs aimed at the mental and emotional wellbeing of youth.

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