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Suicide Prevention

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Suicide prevention



If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 9-1-1.

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, call or text 9-8-8.  Support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through 9-8-8: Suicide Crisis Helpline.


Suicide is a complex and preventable public health issue, that affects Canadians of all ages, sexes, genders, ethnicities, income levels, and regions. Suicide is a leading cause of death among Simcoe Muskoka residents. Males 45 to 64 years of age experience the highest rates of suicide in Simcoe Muskoka. Males in Simcoe Muskoka die by suicide, more than three times as often than females. 

Source:  Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit HealthSTATS


While there is no single cause that explains or predicts suicide, there are a combination of factors associated with suicide, such as:
• physical health
• personal issues and loss
• childhood abuse and neglect
• exposure to trauma (personal, occupational, intergenerational etc.)
• family history of suicide
• prior suicide attempt
• alcohol and/or substance use
• access to lethal means 
• mental illness
Source:  Adapted from the Government of Canada’s Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention, 2020  


Effective suicide prevention requires a comprehensive approach that works across a continuum. This includes: 
• building protective factors and reducing risk factors (prevention)
• responding to someone with suicidal thoughts and/or behaviours (intervention) 
• supporting those impacted by a loss or experience of suicide (postvention)
Suicide prevention requires a collaborative approach that brings together all levels of government, organizations, local communities, and individuals.
Source:  Adapted from the Government of Canada’s Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention, 2020 


The health unit works in partnership with local community organizations and individuals in an effort to prevent suicides in our communities.


  • Work with Simcoe County Suicide Awareness Council to increase awareness of resources and supports on suicide.
  • Network with provincial and national organizations with shared missions and values.
  • Provide access to data and resources for community stakeholders.

What Matters to Your Health

Mental health supports for children

Mental health supports for adults


Know the signs of suicide ideation in others and feel confident to reach out.

Know about resources like 9-8-8 to call if you are experiencing thoughts of suicide.



Suicide prevention from an Indigenous perspective is a positive, holistic and strengths-based approach, called ‘life promotion’. This changes the dialogue from illness into one of wellness. In the Simcoe Muskoka region, the developers of the Feather Carriers: Leadership for Life Promotion have used a cultural approach to draw on Indigenous concepts of leadership for protection and promotion of community health and well-being.

Source:  Adapted from the Feather Carriers Leadership for Life Promotion, 2023 

Feather Carriers: Leadership for Life Promotion

Society uses many terms that lack compassion and empathy when it comes to suicide. Whether discussing suicide with a group of friends, supporting someone with lived experience or writing an article as a journalist, the following terms are recommended:

  • People-First Language (person who has died by suicide)
  • Safe Language (died by suicide/death by suicide or attempted suicide)
  • Safe Messaging (neutral, life-affirming, convey hope and healing)

Source:  Adapted from the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Language Matters, 2018

Need more? Check out the following resources:

Public Health Agency of Canada: LANGUAGE MATTERS
Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP): GUIDELINES FOR MEDIA HOW TO TELL A STORY SAFELY
The Centre for Addictions and Mental Health: WORDS MATTER

Talking about suicide can prevent suicide. Zero Suicide Alliance provides a free online 20-minute training tool that will provide education on:

  • How to spot suicide warning signs
  • How to have a conversation with someone you’re worried about
  • Where to signpost to for further support
  • Suicide is preventable


Click on below link for Suicide Awareness Training:

Zero Suicide Training

Working aged adults make up 70% of all suicide deaths in Canada. Since employed Canadians spend more than half of their waking hours in the workplace, workplaces are a key environment to provide suicide prevention strategies and improve mental health. Workplace mental health strategies that include policies and training about suicide can increase the ability to provide suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention education and support while decreasing negative factors that can exacerbate poor mental health.

Source: Adapted from the Canadian Mental Health Association and Centre for Suicide Prevention’s Workplace and Suicide Prevention Toolkit, 2017


Simcoe Muskoka Suicide Awareness Council

YMCA of Simcoe Muskoka -YMIND Mental Wellness Program 



Ontario Youth Life Promotion Collaborative – School Based Suicide Prevention Life Promotion

Pleo – Supporting Parents for Suicidal Youth



Working Together to Prevent Suicide in Canada –The Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention – Youth Resources for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention –Envisioning a Canada Without Suicide

Public Health Agency of Canada – Talk Suicide Canada 

Centre for Suicide Prevention – The Workplace and Suicide Prevention Toolkit


World Health Organization – Public Health Action for The Prevention of Suicide 

Born This Way Foundation – Youth Mental Health Resource

Seize the Awkward – Youth Mental Health Resource



Mental Health Commission of Canada  

Mental Health Commission of Canada – Safe Messaging About Suicide, Mental Illness and Mental Health

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health – Mental Health 101 

Opening Minds – Anti-stigma campaign for media/journalists

Livingworks – Suicide Prevention Training Solutions

Born This Way Foundation – Be There Certification

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