Saskatchewan Continues Making Progress On Suicide Prevention Work
May 9, 2022
Two-Year Anniversary of Pillars for Life: The Saskatchewan Suicide Prevention Plan
The Government of Saskatchewan continues to build partnerships to support individuals and families at risk of suicide as it marks the two-year anniversary of the release of Pillars for Life: The Saskatchewan Suicide Prevention Plan.
“The tragic loss of a person by suicide is felt by family, friends and the entire community,” Mental Health and Addictions, Seniors and Rural and Remote Health Minister Everett Hindley said. “Today we are providing an update on what we’ve accomplished and where we’re focusing our efforts this year, as we continue to make progress on the priorities in the Pillars for Life plan.”
Released May 8, 2020, Pillars for Life is a starting point for Saskatchewan that is being built upon by government and partners to improve and expand suicide prevention efforts in the province. It serves as a guide to coordinate activities to promote life and reduce risk factors related to suicide in Saskatchewan.
Key actions during Year Two have included:
- Continued implementation of Roots of Hope programs in three communities: La Ronge, Meadow Lake and Buffalo Narrows. These community-led suicide prevention initiatives rely on the experience of local community leaders to develop culturally appropriate initiatives.
- Engaging with Indigenous Services Canada and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) to identify collaborative work that aligns with the tri-party Letter of Commitment to Address First Nations Suicide Prevention.
- Ongoing work to address the Provincial Auditor’s recommendations regarding treating patients at high risk of suicide in the northwest. The Saskatchewan Health Authority hired a manger of suicide prevention and wellness who is working on these recommendations.
- Customizing an online suicide prevention toolkit for adults and peers who work with youth, to raise awareness about suicide and the services available.
- Continued support for mental health and suicide prevention public awareness campaigns to inform individuals that help is available for people thinking of, or affected by, suicide.
- Continued support for the University of Saskatchewan to build a post-secondary suicide prevention framework that can be replicated in other post-secondary institutions.
- Exploring the feasibility of a provincial safe medication disposal program, as overdose from prescription drugs is a common means of suicide.
With the record investment in mental health and addictions in 2022-23, the Government of Saskatchewan has now invested over $92 million in targeted mental health and addictions initiatives since 2018. This includes over $3 million for initiatives related to Pillars for Life since it was introduced in 2020.
Work will continue in 2022-23 to further address the Provincial Auditor’s recommendations regarding treating patients at high-risk of suicide in the northwest. Progress towards delivering a provincial safe medication disposal initiative will also be continued. In addition to ongoing funding of the Roots of Hope initiatives in La Ronge, Meadow Lake and Buffalo Narrows, opportunities for further expansion of Roots of Hope, or similar community-led initiatives, will be explored.
The Government of Saskatchewan will continue to engage with Indigenous partners, including the FSIN, to identify opportunities to advance suicide prevention in Indigenous communities. Further consultations with stakeholders and partners across the province are ongoing as work continues to improve suicide prevention initiatives in Saskatchewan.
Pillars for Life: The Saskatchewan Suicide Prevention Plan is posted at saskatchewan.ca/pillars-for-life along with information about resources available on suicide prevention and mental health.
For more information, contact:
Email: [email protected]