Ontario Government launches $6M pilot project to curb youth suicides
2019-09-10 from thestar.com
The Progressive Conservative government is launching an ambitious $6 million pilot project aimed at ending youth suicides in Mississauga within a decade.
Health Minister Christine Elliott, Education Minister Stephen Lecce, and Children and Community Services Minister Todd Smith are to unveil the “Project Now” mental health plan Tuesday at the YMCA in Mississauga.
If the three-year pilot — announced to coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day — is successful, it could be replicated across Ontario.
Queen’s Park is working with Peel Region, the Peel District School Board, Trillium Health Partners, the Peel Children’s Centre, and the Mississauga-Halton Local Health Integration Network and the Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board on the plan.
The province is investing $3 million and the project partners have so fair raised an additional $3 million in matching funds.
Conservative sources, speaking confidentially because the initiative has not been officially announced, said the hope is the funding will raise awareness about the problem of youth suicide and help families and communities support kids with mental health challenges.
To that end, Project Now will “provide education on evidence-based tools for teachers, police, families, and faith leaders” and “standardize child and youth suicide screening tools.”
As well, health-care professionals will receive training on “evidence-based interventions to prevent suicides.”
The government also wants to increase the use of “tele-psychiatry” and other mobile technology to reduce wait times for mental health services.
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