In Ontario, about 14 per cent of high school students reported having seriously contemplated suicide in the past year and about four per cent reported having attempted suicide. It's an issue that touches the lives of thousands of Ontarians and their communities each year. That's why Ontario is adding connected mental health services for children and youth in schools, communities and health centres.
On World Suicide Prevention Day, the Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, was joined by the Minister of Education, and the Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, at Mississauga YMCA to announce investing $3 million over three years in a new mental health initiative called Project Now, which aims to end child and youth suicide in Mississauga within the next decade by 2029. To date, the project has also received over $3 million in support from donors in the community.
Project Now is a cross-sector partnership that will improve access to mental health services in schools, hospitals and community-based agencies. This funding will support suicide prevention and mental health initiatives led by core partners, including Trillium Health Partners, the Region of Peel, Peel District School Board, Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, Peel Public Health and Peel Children's Centre.
The project will provide supports across the health and education sectors with funding that will help:
- Raise broad public awareness and education
- Standardize child and youth suicide screening tools across all Project Now partners
- Support health professionals on evidence-based tools to prevent suicides
- Improve children and youth transitions from emergency departments to the community
- Shorten wait times through use of technology
- Help children and families better navigate local mental health services.