Raising Suicide Prevention Awareness Among Island Youth

The Canadian Mental Health Association – Prince Edward Island (CMHA–PEI) is receiving a $75,000 grant in support of Signals of Suicide (SOS), a school-based suicide prevention and awareness program targeting grade nine students. Delivered by staff working within CMHA’s Suicide Prevention Program, SOS provides youth with information and strategies to recognize warning signs and be effective helpers. This brings Medavie’s support of CMHA-PEI and Signals of Suicide to $120,000.

Through the Foundation, Medavie supports community-based programs aligned with child and youth mental health, post-traumatic stress, and type 2 diabetes. Since late 2011, Medavie Health Foundation has committed over $11 million to single and multi-year grant and partnership programs. For information on the 2018 Grants Program, or to apply, visit medaviehealthfoundation.ca.

This funding was announced at a reception in Charlottetown marking Medavie’s 75-year milestone of caring for Canadians, with partner representatives and stakeholders in attendance.

Medavie Cmhapei Grant Announcement Cropped
From left to right: Bernard Lord, CEO, Medavie; Judy Hughes, Board Member, CMHA-PEI; Pat Doyle, Suicide Prevention Coordinator, CMHA-PEI; Kim West, Board Chair, Medavie Health Foundation; and Michael Decter, Board Chair, Medavie Inc.

Quick Facts

  • In 2012, suicide accounted for 15% of deaths among youth aged 10 to 14, 29% among youth aged 15 to 19, and 23% among young adults aged 20-24. After accidents, it is the second leading cause of death for people aged 15-24.1
  • Research indicates that comprehensive school-based suicide prevention programs have the potential to reduce youth suicide rates. It also suggests that a majority of youth reach out to a close friend first when they have a problem, and to adults second, if at all.
  • Signals of Suicide uses interactive discussion techniques and multimedia to safely explore the topic of suicide prevention. Participants have credited the program for providing them with the awareness to notice a friend at-risk and take appropriate steps to help.

“As a not-for-profit health solutions partner, Medavie is committed to improving the wellbeing of Canadians. For 75 years, through investments in programs and innovative solutions, we’ve been helping Canadians live well and enabling easier access to quality health care in our communities. Increasing mental health literacy and resiliency among our youth aligns with our Foundation’s belief that all Canadians, especially young Canadians, should have access to the tools and supports they need to live their best lives.”

Bernard Lord, CEO, Medavie

“We are thrilled to be in receipt of this grant from Medavie. Their continued support and recognition of our work in suicide prevention is greatly appreciated. This is a partnership that continues to make our Island youth population suicide-safer. We have plans to modernize aspects of the program to be more responsive to the needs of today’s youth and this funding will help achieve this.”

Reid Burke, Executive Director, Canadian Mental Health Association – PEI Division

Associated Links
1 Statistics Canada, Deaths and Mortality Rate

Our Mission is to Improve the Wellbeing of Canadians.

Medavie is a health company that oversees Medavie Blue Cross and Medavie Health Services. Together, we’re bringing Canadians better health and access to care.