What is the issue?
Suicide is one of the top ten causes of death in Canada. It’s a serious public health problem with lasting, harmful effects on individuals, families, and communities.
Evidence has indicated that one of the most common risk factors for suicide is a diagnosis of a mental health problem or illness. Fortunately, programs and strategies are available that can make a difference.
What are we doing?
As part of our ongoing commitment to life promotion and suicide prevention, we have created a range of evidence-based resources.
Roots of Hope
A Community-led Suicide Prevention Project, Roots of Hope builds on community expertise to implement suicide interventions tailored to local contexts. Through this project, we are building an evidence base that includes best practices, guidelines, and tools to support the development of a suicide prevention model across the country.
Using the hashtag #sharehope allows Canadians to share messages of hope and resilience via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Tumblr. Not on social media? Click to add a post directly to our #sharehope wall.
Suicide: Facing the Difficult Topic Together
A free course designed to equip health care providers with the skills and confidence to have conversations with patients about suicide (accredited for continuing professional development). Developed by the MHCC, in partnership with the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP) and mdBriefCase.
- Suicide Prevention Toolkits
Developed by the MHCC, in collaboration with the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP), the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), and an advisory committee of people with lived experience related to suicide, these toolkits offer a repository of resources to support people who have been impacted by suicide.
- Suicide Risk Assessment Toolkit: A Resource for Healthcare Workers and Organizations
Developed in collaboration with the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, provides a high-level overview of what health-care workers and organization need to consider when using suicide risk assessment tools. It also highlights and describes a range of available tools.
A repository of webinars on suicide prevention, life promotion, intervention, and the community response to suicide (postvention).
Information on suicide and bullying, injury prevention, trauma-informed care, older adults, sexual minorities, transgender people and COVID-19. Developed through an MHCC partnership with the Centre for Suicide Prevention (CSP).
- Research on Suicide and its Prevention: What the Current Evidence Reveals and Topics for Future Research
A literature summary aimed at building a shared Canadian research agenda on suicide and its prevention. Part of an ongoing initiative co-led by the MHCC and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).
- Post-Attempt Followup and Regular Contact Interventions – Evidence Brief on Suicide Care
A summary of current evidence and best practices as it relates to post-discharge followup after a suicide attempt.
- The Crossroads of Opioid Use and Suicide: Let’s Meet People Where They Need Us
Opioid use and suicide share many of the same risk factors and the same protective factors, addressing these factors can help prevent suicides and reduce the harms of opioid use.
- COVID-19 and Suicide: Potential Implications and Opportunities to Influence Trends in Canada – Policy Brief
A summary of current evidence as it relates to the potential impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on mental health and suicide rates (including suicidal ideation, attempts, and death), risk and protective factors to monitor, and opportunities to influence trends in Canada.
- Talking to Children About a Suicide
A conversation tool to help caregivers, parents, and guardians understand how to speak with children in their lives suicide when a suicide happens in the community or if someone they know has died by suicide.
- Considerations for Implementing a Three-Digit Suicide Prevention Number in Canada
This policy brief outlines considerations for implementing a three-digit suicide prevention number in Canada. It reviews several relevant international contexts; specifically, the implementation of a three-digit suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline (988) in the United States (U.S.) and the recently approved 113 number in the Netherlands. The brief is based on the survey, informal interviews, and a scan of academic and grey literature by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC). The considerations it explores include the accessibility and visibility of the service, the capacity of crisis centres, training and staffing standardization, funding and operating costs, and the three-digit number selection.
Safe Messaging and Conversations
- Mindset: Reporting on Mental Health
This field guide, developed by the Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma, is designed to help media professionals write more complete stories and avoid contributing to mental health stigma. Among a range of updates in the third edition (2020) is guidance on creating more nuanced accounts related to suicide.
Toolkit for Survivors of Suicide Loss and Postvention Professionals
The toolkit is a one-stop repository of high-quality, publicly available resources
Suicide Prevention Webinar Series
Focused on suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention
Online modules for healthcare professionals
Access our accredited, online suicide prevention training modules for family physicians and nurses
The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) is committed to promoting mental health and wellness and preventing suicide in Canada and has made work in this area a top priority. Click on the links below for more information.
THE STONY PLAIN EARLY ADOPTER COMMUNITY Stony Plain is part of a tri-region area (with Spruce Grove and Parkland County) that lies west of Edmonton and has a combined population…
Innovative guiding principle: Attempt, evaluate, and share creative and innovative ideas to advance suicide prevention efforts globally. Flexible guiding principle: While standardization is important when comparing communities or tracking progress…
Sustainable guiding principle: Design initiatives that allow for continued funding and leadership. The Sustainable guiding principle puts the focus on the strategies Roots of Hope project teams can use to…
Measurement and evaluation guiding principle: Measure outcomes and evaluate interventions to determine their effectiveness and inform future innovations. The Measurement and Evaluation guiding principle is about generating meaningful insights through…
Strengths-based guiding principle: Build on existing strengths rather than on identifying and closing gaps. Recovery-oriented guiding principle: Focus suicide prevention efforts on giving people hope, treating them with dignity, and…
Culturally Appropriate guiding principle: Develop, implement, and evaluate interventions that respect a diversity of cultures and are responsive and appropriate (for the overall community and specific subpopulations). Lived Experience guiding…
Collaboration/Coordination guiding principle: Design programs to enhance collaboration among stakeholders. Collaboration/Coordination is the Roots of Hope guiding principle that generated the most comments and insights from the project leads interviewed…
Comprehensive guiding principle: Use multiple interventions geared toward a wide range of individuals across a varietyof settings. Span the continuum guiding principle: Address suicide across the entire spectrum, including prevention,…
What am I getting wrong about mental health? While people in Canada are talking about mental health more than ever, misconceptions in the media and elsewhere are keeping the stigma…