In 2018 the Mental Health Commission of Canada launched Roots of Hope, a model for communities to reduce the impact of suicide. The “model builds on community expertise to implement suicide prevention and life promotion initiatives based on 5 pillars and 13 guiding principles”. Since then, it has been adopted by 18 communities across Canada.
The CMHA-WECB and the Windsor Essex County Health Unit co-chair the Windsor Essex County Suicide Prevention Coalition, and along with the members, work on Roots of Hope initiatives. If you are interested in becoming a member, please contact Jenny-Lee or Tolu.
CMHA-WECB Mental Health Educator Jenny-Lee Almeida recently completed a report: Suicide Intervention Trainings and Networks Hosted by CMHA-WECB in Windsor-Essex: Jan. 202 – Jul. 2023, which focuses on outcomes of the Training and Networks pillar.
- Means Safety. Identify “hot spots” and implement measures to limit access to the suicide methods being used.
- Public Awareness. Create local educational campaigns (e.g., posters, brochures, social media).
- Research. Set research priorities, surveillance, and monitoring and evaluation to increase the suicide prevention evidence base.
- Specialized Supports. Develop a range of possible prevention, intervention, and postvention services (e.g., peer support, support groups, workplace interventions, and coordinated planning and access to services).
- Training and Networks. Provide training and learning opportunities for community gatekeepers (e.g., physicians, first responders, nurses, HR staff and managers, and teachers).
The 13 Guiding Principles:
- Comprehensive. Use multiple interventions geared toward a wide range of individuals across a variety of settings.
- Collaboration/Coordination. Design programs to enhance collaboration among stakeholders.
- Culturally Appropriate. Develop, implement, and evaluate interventions that respect a diversity of cultures and are responsive and appropriate (for the overall community and specific sub-populations).
- Recovery-Oriented. Focus suicide prevention efforts on giving people hope, treating them with dignity, and meaningfully including them in the decisions being made.
- Evidence-Informed. Use interventions that are selected and informed by different kinds of evidence, including those outside of peer-reviewed quantitative studies.
- Measurement and Evaluation. Measure outcomes and evaluate interventions to determine their effectiveness and inform future innovations.
- Lived Experience. Recognize the important role of suicide attempt and suicide loss survivors, persons with lived and living experience, individuals bereaved by suicide, and caregivers in guiding suicide prevention efforts.
- Flexible. While standardization is important when comparing communities or tracking progress over time, be sure that selected interventions can be tailored to the community for which they are being implemented.
- Strengths-Based. Build on existing strengths rather than on identifying and closing gaps.
- Span the Continuum. Address suicide across the entire spectrum, including prevention, intervention, and postvention services.
- Community Centered. Develop initiatives that are community-led, tailored to its current level of readiness, and driven by engaging and empowering local stakeholders.
- Sustainable. Design initiatives that allow for continued funding and leadership.
- Innovative. Attempt, evaluate, and share creative and innovative ideas to advance suicide prevention efforts globally.