45 people die by suicide in Niagara each year; that is 1 person every 8 days. SafeTALK and ASIST trainers play a critical role in suicide prevention. The Distress Centre, the lead organization for all suicide prevention training in Niagara, and the Niagara Suicide Prevention Coalition (NSPC), believe that there is an opportunity for SafeTALK and ASIST trainers to better support each other around this important work.

The (NSPC) is developing a Community of Practice (COP) for safeTALK and ASIST trainers to connect 1-2 times per year.

A community of practice can be described as a group of people who have made a commitment to be available to each other to: offer support, share learning, consciously develop new knowledge, and share discoveries with anyone engaged in similar work, in order to advance individual and organizational practice” (Wheatley 2007).

This Community of Practice will provide trainers an opportunity to share best practices, identify and collectively respond to common challenges and gaps, and contribute data and statistics to help define this work and better understand how it is connected to the bigger picture of suicide prevention work.

The first step is to create a central database of local trainers in Niagara. If you are a SafeTALK or ASIST trainer, or know someone who is, please contact Lynn Johnstone, Distress Centre, (lynn@distresscentreniagara.com and/or 905-688-8122).

We look forward to working together in the future. Remember, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

Katie Cino
Health Promoter, Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention
Niagara Region Public Health
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