Past presentations


December 9, 2014 – Webinar #9, Suicide Prevention, Intervention, & Postvention: A Year in Review at the Mental Health Commission of Canada

Webinar video and slides coming soon

This is the final webinar of 2014 in a free series on suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention. This half-hour webinar will provide attendees with an overview of the MHCC’s work in suicide prevention, postvention and intervention over the last year, with a focus on the following activities:

  1. Suicide prevention webinar series – Is it effective? Who is tuning in?

  2. Virtual conference on suicide prevention, postvention & intervention – Key learnings and looking forward

  3. Survivors Network – What is it? What are our next steps?

  4. #308Conversations – What did we hear? Where are we moving in the future?

  5. National Collaborative for Suicide Prevention – Work to date and opportunity for engagement

Meg Schellenberg, Knowledge Broker, MHCC
Jenn Ward, Project Manager, MHCC


October 14, 2014 – Webinar #8, Supporting LGBTQ Youth: Key Learnings from the 2012 and 2014 LGBTQ Youth Suicide Prevention Summits

Webinar video and slides coming soon

Description: Research over the past 5-10 years has increasingly confirmed that suicidal ideation and behaviour are higher among LGBTQ youth and that they are at a greater risk of harm than their heterosexual and cisgender peers.

Egale Canada Human Rights Trust (Egale) is committed to advancing collaborative and coordinated research, education and programming across Canada to prevent suicide among lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, Two Spirit, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. In the past three years, Egale has convened two Summits on LGBTQ youth suicide prevention, bringing together experts from across Canada and the United States, including leading academics and researchers, educators, social service providers, medical professionals, coroners and medical examiners, public policy professionals, and LGBTQ and Aboriginal community leaders. These Summits have resulted in the development of twenty evidence-based recommendations for ending LGBTQ youth suicide in Canada, as well as numerous partnerships and new research and programming initiatives.

This webinar will provide attendees with an overview of the recommendations and action plans developed so far, highlighting both the work that is being done (promising practices), and the work that needs to be done (major gaps), in the following four areas:

  1. Empowering LGBTQ youth and building resiliency

  2. Equipping parents and families to support their LGBTQ youth

  3. Addressing the healthcare needs of LGBTQ youth

  4. Collecting data on LGBTQ youth and suicide

Speaker(s): D. Ryan Dyck, Director of Research and Policy, Egale Canada Human Rights Trust (Egale).


September 10, 2014 – Webinar #7, Connecting Canada while Supporting Individuals’ Emotional and Mental Health

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Title: Connecting Canada while Supporting Individuals’ Emotional and Mental Health

Description: According to the Canadian Community Health Survey (2012), 10 per cent of Canadians have reported mental health problems or substance dependence in the last 12 months. However, individuals who accessed distress line services (e.g., crisis lines), had a significantly higher number of discussions about mental health problems and mental illness than the national average, with calls of this nature reflecting 20 per cent of all topics of conversation.

This webinar examines the role of distress lines in supporting individuals who are suicidal or experiencing mental health crises. It also focuses on the establishment of a national toll-free number, and how the Canadian Distress Line Network is working to achieve this goal.

Speakers: Elizabeth (Liz) Fisk – Executive Director – Distress Centres of Ontario; Executive Team, Canadian Distress Line Centre;
Karen Letofsky – Executive Director, Distress Centres Toronto;
Janet Smith – Program Manager, Manitoba Farm and Rural Support Services; Manitoba Suicide Line (Manitoba).


July 8, 2014 – Webinar #6, #308conversations – It’s time to start talking about suicide prevention

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Title: #308conversations – It’s time to start talking about suicide prevention

Description: This informative 30 minute webinar provided an overview of what the MHCC is doing to prevent suicide, and explained what #308conversations is all about. At a glance, #308conversations is a grassroots campaign spearheaded by the MHCC that invites each of Canada’s 308 Members of Parliament to lead a conversation in their ridings about suicide prevention, postvention, and intervention.

Speaker: Stephanie Machel, Project Director, Suicide Prevention, Mental Health Commission of Canada


June 10, 2014 – Webinar #5, Skills for Safer Living

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Title: Skills for Safer Living – An innovate approach to dealing with recurring suicide behaviour

Description: This 60 minute webinar provided an overview of the Skills for Safer Living program – a skills based intervention for individuals that have made repeated attempts to end their lives by suicide. The presentation provided an understanding of the reasons as to why the program was undertaken, the program objectives, the experience of implementing the program in Waterloo-Wellington (ON) area, and what impact the program has had in the community.

Speaker: Allan Strong, Team Lead – Skills for Safer Living, CMHA Waterloo-Wellington-Dufferin


May 13, 2014 – Webinar #4, Community Suicide Prevention & Resiliency

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Title: Community Suicide Prevention & Resiliency

Description: Communities Addressing Suicide Together (CAST) was founded in 2006 in Nova Scotia to enact the Framework to Address Suicide in NS. Recognizing suicide as a public health issue, the CAST model is informed by the Social Determinants of Health, utilizing a coalition model that allows different communities to come together to address gaps in services. This webinar will explore the CAST Coalition Model and some of the empirical evidence on the vital role of community suicide prevention & resiliency.

This webinar is intended to give attendees a better understanding of suicide; the role of community in suicide prevention, and how we can promote resiliency and hope for our at-risk communities.

Speaker: Mike Price, CAST Director, CASP Vice President


April 8, 2014 – Webinar #3, Trauma-informed Care

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Title: Trauma-informed care: Moving from “what’s wrong” to “what’s happened to you?”

Description: Psychological trauma is an almost universal experience. It is part of being human. The impact of trauma can be felt throughout an individual’s life in areas that can seem far removed from the trauma itself. People affected by trauma are also high users of health care and social services, and are frequently overly represented within these systems. The extent of this problem and its effect on these systems is enormous and yet it has been largely hidden and overlooked. 

At a time when human services are being increasingly stressed and strained by growing demands and limited resources, trauma informed practices have the potential to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of any service, improve communication between client and service provider, increase job satisfaction, increase staff wellness and above all improve positive outcomes for the people these systems serve.

This webinar explored the nature of psychological trauma, its effects on the body, mind and spirit, with special attention to its neurobiological affects. Participants acquired an understanding of what it means to be trauma-informed, its principles, the benefits to an organization in adopting a trauma-informed approach, processes for becoming trauma informed and resources to support organizations through this process.

It explored what the Canadian Association of Suicide Prevention describes as the shift in emphasis from “What is wrong?” to “What happened?”

Speaker: Tim Wall, Executive Director, The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Director of Counselling, Klinic Community Health Centre


March 11, 2014 – Webinar #2, Injury Prevention & Suicide Prevention

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Title: Revealing connections: The link between preventable injury and mental health

Description: Preventable injuries are placing a growing burden on health-care systems, individual lives and communities every day. Preventable injuries cost the Canadian economy $20 billion every year in direct and indirect costs. The human and personal costs resulting from an injury cannot be calculated. Likewise, mental health is a growing concern and area of focus for the health-care community, practitioners and the public alike. Few however have yet to recognize the strong link between injury and mental health, with injury predicting and relating to mental health issues and vice versa. 

The presentation will provide an introduction to the concepts of preventable injury, intentional and unintentional injuries, and demonstrate the strong bidirectional connection between injury and mental health. The evidence demonstrates that this link is particularly pronounced in certain settings and among specific vulnerable populations. Furthermore, the link between preventable injuries and mental health, self-harming and suicide in particular, has been connected to such risk-taking behaviours as alcohol misuse and others. Despite the strong connection between the two, injuries and mental health have tended to be examined and treated in isolation, which should be remedied through strong partnership development and program and treatment integration.

Speaker: Amy Padro is the Manager of Government Relations for Parachute, the national voice for injury prevention in Canada. In her role, she manages all aspects of government relations initiatives, including influencing public policy and legislation, public awareness campaigns, and interacting with federal, provincial and municipal governments and decision-makers. Amy holds a Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies from York University. Amy is an instructor in Ryerson’s University’s Chang School of Continuing Education where she teaches advocacy and government relations within its Non-Profit Management program.

About Parachute 
Parachute is a national, charitable organization dedicated to preventing injuries and saving lives. Parachute officially came into being in July 2012 and unites the former organizations of Safe Communities Canada, Safe Kids Canada, SMARTRISK and ThinkFirst Canada into one leader in injury prevention. Parachute’s injury prevention solutions, knowledge mobilization, public policy, and social awareness efforts are designed to help Canadians reduce their risks of injury while achieving Parachute’s vision of an injury-free Canada where Canadians enjoy long lives lived to the fullest.


February 11, 2014 – Webinar #1, E-Mental Health & Suicide Prevention

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Title: App-on-Tap: Using Technology in the Prevention of Suicide

Description: Technology is changing the way we deliver mental health care in new and exciting ways. This webinar introduces the idea that technology can help transform how we provide health services and improve health literacy to help in suicide prevention. It will also highlight ways, with examples, in which this could work, as well as focusing on the policy and research challenges that exist.

Speaker: Dr. Simon Hatcher is currently a Full Professor of Psychiatry at The University of Ottawa having moved there from Auckland in 2012. His main research interests include suicide, self-harm, psychotherapies, psychiatry in the general hospital setting and e-therapies. He has been the principal investigator in several large trials of non-pharmacological interventions in people who present to hospital with intentional self-harm. He provided the clinical input into the John Kirwan Journal program Currently, he is based clinically at The Royal Ottawa Hospital providing services in the downtown homeless shelters and working in the Liaison Psychiatry service at The Ottawa General Hospital. He is the vice chair of research in the Department of Psychiatry.