WELLINGTON COUNTY – The Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington (CMHA) is hosting three local discussions on suicide prevention.
The “Here4Hope” sessions, scheduled for June 20 and 27 and July 4, are in part a reaction to recent events in and around Wellington County, but also an opportunity to provide an overview of the CMHA’s new Wellington Framework for Promoting Life and Preventing Suicide.
“There’s a sense in the community that people are struggling with what’s going on,” said CMHA communications specialist Megan Brady.
She added everyone is welcome to the three events:
– June 20, from 6 to 7:30pm, at the Centre Wellington Community Sportsplex in Fergus;
– June 27, from 6 to 7:30pm, at the Italian Canadian Club in Guelph; and
– July 4, from 6 to 7:30pm, at the Mount Forest Sportsplex.
Facilitator Cecilia Marie Roberts said the sessions will include a general discussion on suicide, including signs of distress and where to get help, as well an update on the Wellington Framework for Promoting Life and Preventing Suicide.
“We’re really trying to mobilize the community around suicide prevention,” said Roberts.
The event is a follow-up to November’s the Here4Hope mental health discussion in Fergus featuring TSN personalities Michael Landsberg and Jennifer Hedger.
Roberts explained she was hired on a six-month contract in January specifically to work on the CMHA’s Wellington Framework for Promoting Life and Preventing Suicide.
The framework involves gathering research, both statistical and empirical, and then making recommendations on areas of focus over the next one to three years.
Roberts noted some of the initiatives, which require community partners, are already underway, while others are still being developed.
One of the aims of the community sessions is to educate residents on that work and to outline the many ways for them to participate.
“We recognize there’s still a lot of tragic events happening and people are feeling overwhelmed … We have to provide hope,” said Roberts.
She added it is crucial that those struggling are assured that if they reach out, help will be available.
The community sessions are open to everyone, though they may not be suitable for young children. Attendees will be allowed to submit written questions for discussion.
For more information call the CMHA at 519-821-8089. Those in crisis or wanting information about CMHA services can call Here 24/7: 1-844-437-3247 (HERE 247) or visit www.here247.ca.