This story, originally published on August 8th, 2017, has been updated to include a link to a related article in the BC Medical Journal entitled "A mental health resource for all communities: The Salt Spring Island Youth Suicide Intervention Toolkit."
The Salt Spring Island Child and Youth Mental Health Local Action Team has created a youth suicide intervention toolkit, providing information and support to children and youth in the community who are struggling with suicidal ideation.
The toolkit provides answers to difficult questions like “How do you talk to a youth who has suicidal thoughts? What do you say or not say? Will talking about suicide cause more harm than good?” To address these questions from different perspectives, the division created versions of the toolkit geared toward three different audiences: youth and their friends, professionals (doctors, teachers, and health care providers), and parents and caregivers. The professional version of the toolkit includes risk assessment and universal precautions, while the youth version incorporates stories from other teens who have experienced suicidal ideation and are now on the road to recovery.
All versions of the toolkit contain information on supports and resources in the community, crisis lines and apps, and information about risk factors and self-management strategies. Information included is practical and evidence-based, using language that is simple and jargon-free.
The toolkits were created by the Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use (CYMHSU) Collaborative's Salt Spring Island Local Action Team (LAT), in partnership with the Salt Spring Island chapter of the Rural and Remote Division of Family Practice.
In the spirit of collaboration, the Salt Spring Island LAT has made the toolkit contents and design files available to other BC LATs so they can customize them with their own local information. For information on the toolkit design files, contact Janine Gowans, Chapter Coordinator, Salt Spring and Galiano Islands, Rural and Remote Division of Family Practice, firstname.lastname@example.org. The toolkits have so far been repurposed and distributed in 11 communities throughout BC.
Access the toolkits at the following links:
- Salt Spring Island Youth Suicide Prevention Toolkit
- A Suicide Prevention Toolkit for Professionals on Salt Spring Island
- A Suicide Prevention Toolkit for Parents and Caregivers on Salt Spring Island
Update: To learn more about the Salt Spring Island Suicide Intervention Toolkits and how the Salt Spring Island LAT undertook the project, read the April 2018 GPSC column in the BC Medical Journal entitled "A mental health resource for all communities: The Salt Spring Island Youth Suicide Intervention Toolkit."