Update provided by Linda Boich, Niagara Health Executive Vice President with responsibility for the Mental Health and Addictions program:
We know the community is hurting and that many people are justifiably concerned about the number of suicides and attempted suicides in our region. We share these concerns.
Senior members of our mental healthcare team are planning to participate in next week’s meeting of the Niagara Suicide Prevention Coalition. We look forward to supporting and contributing to the discussion about suicide prevention. At any given time, our team is caring for patients who are suicidal, and we have a number of programs in place to help and support them.
It is important to remind community members that if they or someone they know is in distress and in need of immediate help, they should seek emergency care or call 911 immediately. Niagara’s Mental Health and Addictions Access Line is also available 24/7. Call 1-866-550-5205 or visit http://accesslineniagara.com
The Coalition’s decision to install signage that offers mental health crisis support information is a positive step forward. Anything that will interrupt a pattern of thought, like a sign, is helpful.
We are also reaching out to several of our former mental health patients who were at risk of suicide and may be willing to share insights on their experience to help others.
Regular reviews of our care are an important part of our work to ensure we maintain the highest quality standards of care and determine what could be done differently. Our team is committed to all of our patients, and we do everything we can to help them.