The Thunder Bay Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force is a community collaborative that was formed out of a call-to-action in 2007. This call-to-action was based on the growing need to address youth mental health issues and tragic events, such as suicide.
Our partners acknowledged that we needed to be more prepared as a community to deal with the effects of youth suicide. As a result, service providers pulled together and succeeded in creating a unique model of community mobilization and multiple partnerships that has improved our capacity to support groups and individuals following a tragic event.
Members on this committee include school boards, mental health agencies, health care facilities, and volunteer advocates from our community.
The Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force is involved with a number of community initiatives. The Task Force also implemented an innovative model, called a Fanout Protocol, which provides immediate support from community agencies to schools following a tragic event or suicide.
We also take part in a variety of community and public education events. We provide community presentations, youth consultations and awareness campaigns. The group also pulls together reports and information.
The key objectives of the Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force:
- To increase knowledge and awareness of issues related to youth suicide.
- To work collaboratively to prevent youth suicide in our community.
- To work collaboratively to respond to youth suicide in an effective and timely manner.
- To mobilize the community and build capacity to deal with youth suicide and other tragic events.
- 1 in 5 children in the province of Ontario struggles with their mental health
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death among teenagers aged 15-24 years in Ontario.
- Suicide rates of Aboriginal people are six to seven times higher than their non-Aboriginal peers.
- Youth suicide is a preventable public health issue.