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Home › Resources › Roots of Hope Promising Practice Exchange Case Studies – Spotlight on Burin Peninsula, Newfoundland and Labrador

Roots of Hope Promising Practice Exchange Case Studies – Spotlight on Burin Peninsula, Newfoundland and Labrador

THE COMMUNITY OF BURIN PENINSULA

The Burin Peninsula, an area that stretches southwest from the main island for some 130 km, has a population of about 19,000, spread across several towns and villages. Since signing on as the first Roots of Hope demonstration project community, it has been providing ongoing support for first responders, offering ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) to key target groups, along with other training to community members, and focusing on harm reduction (alcohol) as part of the means safety pillar.

In 2019, its focus group findings highlighted the considerable influence stigma was having on access to mental health services and resources on the peninsula. To address the issue, the community team’s action plan set out to provide training and educational opportunities to groups that included community members, first responders, and health-care professionals. The priority populations they identified were first responders, males ages 40-59, youth, and community members at large.

COMMUNITY IMPACT

All three activities have helped start the conversation about suicide on the Burin Peninsula. By taking a community-focused, collaborative approach and promoting open dialogue, our communities have seen a positive shift in attitudes about suicide, along with an emergence of hope about suicide prevention.

These activities have also encouraged participation across diverse age groups — from youth to older adults. Although our target group continues to be men ages 40 to 59, we believe that suicide prevention involves a collaborative community effort — which is why we designed our activities to fit a wider audience.

Stigma reduction around suicide has always been a huge focus for the Roots of Hope Burin Peninsula team, so we are proud that our work has been able to reduce stigma in our communities.

The feedback from individuals who took part in our suicide awareness presentations, and in HEADSTRONG, have been overwhelmingly positive. People recognize the importance of this work and are asking for more. These responses have been encouraging and amazing.

Read all Roots of Hope Case Studies

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