County of Wellington and CMHAWW work Together to Promote Life and Prevent Suicide with the Here4Hope Project

June 27, 2019

WELLINGTON COUNTY, ON – At today’s County Council meeting, Council adopted a resolution to partner with the Canadian Mental Health Association of Waterloo-Wellington (CMHA WW) to lead the work of promoting life and preventing suicide in Wellington County, under the “Here4Hope” strategy. This strategy was developed in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association of Waterloo-Wellington (CMHA), Wellington County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the County of Wellington.

This resolution goes hand in hand with a recent Community Safety and Policing Grant submitted by OPP Inspector Scott Lawson, on behalf of the Police Services Board, to the Ministry of the Solicitor General. Wellington County OPP has applied for a three-year grant valued at $180,000 per year to implement the Integrated Mobile Police and Crisis Team (IMPACT) – Suicide Prevention/Postvention Support Programme.

“This partnership between the County of Wellington, OPP and CMHA WW is the first of its kind,” said Warden Kelly Linton. “People are our greatest priority. It has become increasingly clear that mental health is fundamentally interconnected with physical and social well-being and health outcomes. This strategy and Community Safety and Policing Grant will also be closely intertwined with a community wellness programme that CMHA Waterloo-Wellington will be leading.”

The proposed partnership would enable CMHA WW to employ Cecilia Marie Roberts, in partnership with the County of Wellington, for three years to continue to lead and support the work of promoting life and preventing suicide in Wellington County.

“This strategy will not only equip our staff with the tools, support and resources to help themselves and their loved ones, but over 850 County employees will be able to assist others who may be struggling in the community,” commented Scott Wilson, CAO of the County of Wellington. “Many people in our community have been either directly or indirectly affected by suicide. There is a great need for support in this area. Over the years, the County has implemented a number of programmes dedicated to wellness. Building on that work, the County will continue to set short and long-term objectives dedicated specifically to mental health.”

The development of the “Here4Hope” Wellington Framework for Promoting Life and Preventing Suicide was developed by Cecilia Marie Roberts, Suicide Prevention Lead at CMHA WW and it provides a road map for implementing a whole community approach to suicide prevention and awareness. It includes mental health training, support and resources for OPP and Wellington County employees, and the community.

“The rate of suicide in Wellington County is 2.5 times higher than the provincial average,” commented Helen Fishburn, Executive Director of CMHA WW. “Promoting life and preventing suicide requires a whole community approach and this partnership recognizes that this important work requires expertise, leadership and coordination. We are proud and privileged to be doing this important work with the County of Wellington and Wellington OPP.”