Suicide barriers work according to Niagara Public Health

Barriers work in preventing suicides.

With Niagara's suicide rate continuing to climb, our Medical Officer of Health is proposing barriers and public awareness to help save lives.

Dr. Mustafa Hirji warns if the rate of death remains consistent at the Burgoyne Bridge it would be the second highest in North America.

Hirji will present a report to Niagara's Public Works committee asking councillors to approve a 3.5 million dollar suicide barrier to be built on the downtown St.Catharines bridge.

He says criticism saying that the money is a waste since people will go elsewhere to die is not true.

Hirji says Toronto's Bloor Viaduct span was once the number two bridge across North America for suicides, but after building a veil on the bridge, suicides stopped and there weren't any increases of suicides elsewhere.

Hirji will also present another report asking for funding to hire two specialists to launch a pair of mental health training programs.

The goal will be to help train the public, health care professionals and social workers in suicide prevention.

To hear Dr. Hirji's full interview with CKTB's Matt Holmes, click here.

There are approximately 3,600 deaths by suicide across Canada each year.

In Ontario, the suicide rate is 7.7 deaths per 100,000 people, and even higher in Niagara where the suicide rate is 9.8 deaths per 100,000 residents based on information from 2011.



courtesy Niagara Regional Public Works Agenda, Parsons



Suicide Prevention and Crisis/Distress Services Niagara:

Those at immediate risk for suicide call 911

If you or someone you know is in crisis or at risk for suicide:

COAST 1-866-550-5205 x 1   (Adults 16+)

Pathstone Mental Health 1-800-263-4944 (Children and Youth)

Distress Centre Niagara 905-688-3711 (St. Catharines, Niagara Falls and Area all ages)

Crisis Services Canada 1-833-456-4566

Kids Help Phone  1-800-668-6868 24/7 texting service is accessible immediately to youth anywhere in Canada by texting TALK to 686868

Jeunesse J’ecoute  1-800-668-6868 TEXTO to 686868 to reach a French-speaking Crisis Responder

First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line  1-855-242-3310

Ontario Text and Chat Service:

Dial 741741 from a mobile device - service available 2 – 7 p.m., 7 days a week

Centralized Access Services for Mental Health, Addictions and Community Supports in Niagara:

Mental Health and Addictions Access Line:  1-866-550-5205 Ext 2  (Adult 16+)

Contact Niagara:  1-800-933-3617  (Children and Youth)

InCommunities:  211 (all ages)


Other Helpful Urgent and emergency resources:

Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Youth Line 1-800-268-9688

Domestic Violence Hotline : Gillian's Place 905-684-8331

Sexual Abuse Hotline: Niagara Sexual Assault Centre- 905-682-4584

Child Abuse Hotline: Family and Children's Services- 1-888-937-7731

Emergency Shelters :   Southridge 905-682-9901  Salvation Army 905-684-7813  (Full list available through 211)

Youth Shelter : The RAFT 905-984-4365  Nightlight (905) 358-3678  (Full list available through 211)

Adult Mental Health Urgent and Walk in services: Canadian Mental Health Association (times and locations of walk in available through Mental Health and Addictions Access Line – 1-866-550-5205 ext 2 Child and Youth Urgent and Walk in Services : Pathstone Mental Health 1-800-263-4944

Parent Resouce: Parent Talk Line 905-688-8248 or 1-888-505-6074 ext. 7555

Family Resources:  Mental Health: Family Mental Health Support Network 905-894-6808

Substance Abuse Urgent/prompt services: Community Addiction Services of Niagara 905-684-1183

Alcoholics Anonymous: Niagara (905) 682-2140

Housing Help (905) 984-8955

Seniors Services: Gatekeepers 905-684-0968