New Counselling Initiative for Those Affected by Suicide Announced by Province

171 people died by self harm in the province during 2022. Countless families are impacted every year by suicide. Now the Government of Saskatchewan is ushering in a new era of mental health support with a record investment of $518 million for the fiscal year 2023-24. A portion of this funding will go towards a rapid Access Counseling for families experiencing Suicide Loss. This program, spearheaded by Family Service Saskatchewan, is designed to provide immediate psychological assistance to families and friends coping with the aftermath of suicide.

Mental Health and Addictions Minister Tim McLeod says the program plays an important role in delivering timely counseling services during a challenging periods for affected individuals. “Families and friends who have lost a loved one to suicide or whose loved one has made a suicide attempt will be able to quickly access counseling services at a time when they may need it most,” he stated.

The program will be operational in key locations, including Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert, and Humboldt, also granting access through virtual and phone services across the entire province.

Family Service Saskatchewan, at the helm of the move, aims to provide a number of services, including not only counseling but, referral alongside education, and awareness initiatives for affected families and communities. They are actively developing a network that allows seamless referrals by individuals, families, health providers, police, and other first responders immediately following a suicide or suicide attempt with significant injury or trauma.

This announcement comes as part of a broader strategy by the government to bolster mental health services in the province.

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