In 2017, one person in Haldimand and Norfolk died every two weeks as a result of suicide.
This is the most recently available statistic, and the reason the Community Addiction and Mental Health Services of Haldimand and Norfolk (CAMHS), and Haldimand-Norfolk REACH partnered together to participate in 2020 World Suicide Prevention Day on Sept. 10.
The service providers teamed up to create 2,000 kits that included crisis line numbers and a piece of chalk. The Public Health Agency of Canada suggested using chalk as a way to “share a message of hope for those impacted by suicide.”
Inside of each kit is a printout explaining what World Suicide Prevention Day is, and suggests messages of hope to write with the provided chalk, including, “don’t let yesterday take too much of today,” and “remember failure is an event, not a person.”
Bobby Jo Smith, clinical services manager at CAMHS, said the kits were their solution to not being able to hold a public event due to COVID-19.
“We’re hopeful that individuals that may feel the need to reach out will have the information,” said Smith. “With 2,000 households, potentially individuals in those households will have an opportunity to learn about the crisis lines, which are 24/7.”
The crisis lines are a starting point for those in need, creating a dialogue between the services providers and recipients.
“When people are calling our local crisis services, it becomes an opportunity to connect with our agency and we provide a continuum of services,” said Susan Wells, director of child, family and adult intervention services at REACH. “It’s not just helping them through that moment of crisis. If they need more we are doing follow ups with those folks.”
The kits are available across Haldimand and Norfolk.
In Delhi they can be found at A Pet’s Delight, Nikki’s Hair Lounge, The Bunkhouse Family Eatery, and Wholesome Pickins’ Market & Bakery. In Waterford they are at Perks of Norfolk, and Kerry’s St. James Street Eatery. They can be found in Simcoe at Roulston’s Wellness Centre, Target Pioneer Gas Station, and Art With Heart. In Port Dover they are available at The Erie Beach Hotel and The Urban Parisian.
In Haldimand they can be found: in Dunnville at New Amsterdam Pub, Cayuga at Shelly’s Family Dining, and Haldimand Hands on Health, Fisherville at The Cabin Wellness Clinic, Selkirk at Faith Centennial United Church, Hagersville at W.J. Heaslip Inc., and Jarvis at Luxe and Company.
“We’re really happy to get this opportunity to distribute to the community the information about our child and youth crisis service,” said Wells, “which receives over 300 calls from individuals a year.”
Support is available for those in crisis in Haldimand and Norfolk.
Children, youth, and their families in crisis can contact the H-N REACH Child and Youth Crisis Service line at 1-866-327-3224. Adults in crisis can reach out to the CAMHS Crisis Assessment and Support Team at 1-866-487-2278.