From Mental Health Commission of Canada

Today the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) officially launched the national Roots of Hope suicide prevention project in Ottawa. In attendance were representatives from our eight partner communities across the country, with a combined population of 1.8 million, including rural, urban, francophone, northern, and Indigenous populations.

Each year, 4,000 people in Canada take their own lives. That number has remained unchanged over the last ten years, but Roots of Hope aims to significantly reduce it.

Under the leadership of the MHCC, the project draws on international best practices and community strengths, using a proven strategy composed of five pillars. Roots of Hope addresses Canada’s often silent and hidden suicide crisis using evidence-informed approaches, including specialized supports for individuals in need, public education and awareness, means restriction, training for community leaders, and research and evaluation.

The data gathered from the partner communities will funnel back to the project’s principal investigator, Dr. Brian Mishara, who will evaluate the program’s effectiveness. By the conclusion of the five-year project, guidelines and tools will be available to support any community wishing to engage in a similar effort.

Quotes

"The concept of Roots of Hope is one of strength and community spirit — the best way to conquer the stigma and shame that have shadowed suicide for far too long. The investments made by the participating provinces, and the supporting federal dollars, send the message that suicide prevention is no longer an item at the bottom of the collective agenda. As a proud Newfoundlander, I can’t help but be delighted that my home province was the very first to sign on."
— Louise Bradley, President and CEO, Mental Health Commission of Canada

“Roots of Hope is a huge win. It is a means to leverage our collective resources, pool our knowledge and, ultimately, save lives.”
— Chuck Bruce, Board Chair, Mental Health Commission of Canada

“I am proud to be involved with this inspiring initiative. Its focus on cutting-edge, multi-faceted, scientifically evaluated programs puts Canada in the forefront in promoting effective community innovations to prevent suicides.”
— Dr. Brian Mishara, Principal Investigator, Roots of Hope: A Community Suicide Prevention Project

“This launch is the celebration of more than a year of groundwork, partnership building, and community planning. We now have an extraordinary complement of regional partners working hand in glove to make Roots of Hope a national success.”
— Ed Mantler, Vice-President, Programs and Priorities, Mental Health Commission of Canada

Quick Facts

  • Eleven people die by suicide each day in Canada
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth age 15-34
  • One third of suicide deaths are among people 45-59 years old
  • Suicide rates are three times higher among men compared with women
  • Up to 135 people are affected by one suicide loss, between 15 and 30 people severely

Partner Communities

  • Buffalo Narrows, Sask.
  • Burin Peninsula, N.L.
  • Edmonton, Alta.
  • Iqaluit, Nunavut
  • La Ronge, Sask.
  • Meadow Lake, Sask.
  • Madawaska-Victoria, N.B.
  • Waterloo Wellington, Ont.

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Contact
Media Relations
Mental Health Commission of Canada
613-683-3748 / media@mentalhealthcommission.ca

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