Ontario Investing in New Community-Wide Project Aimed at Ending Child and Youth Suicide in Mississauga
MISSISSAUGA - In Ontario, about 14 per cent of high school students reported having seriously contemplated suicide in the past year and about four per cent reported having attempted suicide. It's an issue that touches the lives of thousands of Ontarians and their communities each year. That's why Ontario is adding connected mental health services for children and youth in schools, communities and health centres.
On World Suicide Prevention Day, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, was joined by Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, and Todd Smith, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, at Mississauga YMCA to announce investing $3 million over three years in a new mental health initiative called Project Now, which aims to end child and youth suicide in Mississauga within the next decade by 2029. To date, the project has also received over $3 million in support from donors in the community.
"Our government continues to deliver on our promise to make mental health and addictions a priority, especially for children and youth, our most vulnerable patients" said Elliott. "Combined with funding from project partners, our government's funding will help raise awareness, equip community leaders and families with the tools to better support children and youth experiencing mental health challenges, provide better connected care and fill critical service gaps."
Project Now is a cross-sector partnership that will improve access to mental health services in schools, hospitals and community-based agencies. This funding will support suicide prevention and mental health initiatives led by core partners, including Trillium Health Partners, the Region of Peel, Peel District School Board, Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, Peel Public Health and Peel Children's Centre.
The project will provide supports across the health and education sectors with funding that will help:
- Raise broad public awareness and education
- Standardize child and youth suicide screening tools across all Project Now partners
- Support health professionals on evidence-based tools to prevent suicides
- Improve children and youth transitions from emergency departments to the community
- Shorten wait times through use of technology
- Help children and families better navigate local mental health services.
"By building the right supports within a community, we can ensure that our children and youth have early access to connected care and services before they hit a crisis point," said Elliott. "This is another key example of how we are taking a cross government approach to build comprehensive and connected mental health and addictions supports."