A mission to save lives

The Mental Health Commission of Canada has tasked the country’s 308 members of Parliament with a mission when it comes to suicide prevention.

The Mental Health Commission of Canada has tasked the country’s 308 members of Parliament with a mission when it comes to suicide prevention.

This week, Red Deer Conservative MP Earl Dreeshen stepped up to the plate.

Dreeshen hosted a suicide prevention roundtable at the Golden Circle in Red Deer on Monday with about 20 representatives from various groups such as Parkland Youth Homes Society, Women’s Outreach, Red Deer Public Schools, Legal Aid Alberta, local police and staff from the City of Red Deer.

The event was part of the commission’s #308conversations grassroots campaign, launched in May, to encourage MPs from all political parties to bring together interested community members and stakeholders to share information about what is working and where the gaps are when it comes to suicide prevention in their communities.

“It’s a way to hear what’s going on and try to build some models to deal with suicide prevention at the national level,” said Dreeshen.

“Different groups talked about how suicide affects the people they’re dealing with. It really helped just to talk about it. Suicide is real.”

A number of questions were asked that address gaps surrounding the issue, such as what changes in a situation when the police become involved and how can there be post-hospital support guaranteed for at-risk individuals.

“These are the kinds of things everyone has a perspective on but I don’t think it’d ever been talked about how we can put it all together,” Dreeshen said.

He said he also hoped the roundtable brought awareness to organizations that they are not alone and can work with the larger community to prevent suicide.

Attending Olympic champion Clara Hughes’ cross-country Big Ride for Bell Let’s Talk campaign in May also inspired Dreeshen to do something about the issue. Hughes, who has been open with her own struggle with depression, strived to erase the stigma of mental illness with the campaign.

“I was happy to be there when Clara came to Red Deer and it was great to see all the different organizations come together there as well so that’s when I made the commitment to bring everyone together again to have a discussion and I’m certainly glad I did as I think it was a rewarding couple of hours.”

Dreeshen’s office will be compiling a report within the next couple of weeks and presenting it to the commission.

“Then it’s a case of discussing it with the leadership,” he said.

“Many had great ideas about what could work as a national tool for suicide prevention and said they would be sending us more details. And anyone who has ideas about this is welcome to contact my office.”

For more information on #308conversations, visit www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/308conversations.


Just Posted

WATCH: Red Deer’s noxious weeds are a goat’s dietary delight

Piper Creek Community Garden gets chemical-free weed control

Get your guilty pleasures: Westerner Days food

Traditional sugary treats were served up by the plate, bowl and bucket… Continue reading

Centrefest brings feats of daring to Red Deer’s downtown

Fundraising was a tough slog, but it came together in the end

Count shows slight decrease in Red Deer’s homeless

In two years, the number of homeless in Red Deer has decreased… Continue reading

Redoing hip surgeries are costly, says new study

Redoing hip and knee replacements costs Canada’s health system $130 million a… Continue reading

WATCH: Cirque ZUMA ZUMA puts on a show at Westerner Days

ZUMA ZUMA performs three times a day during Westerner Days

Jones’ punt return TD rallies Riders to road victory over Ticats

Roughriders 31 Tiger-Cats 20 HAMILTON — Brandon Bridge kept Dave Watford on… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Red Deer’s Iron Buffalo rocks Westerner Days

Iron Buffalo opened for Helix and Lee Aaron Thursday at the ENMAX Centrium

Zuckerberg’s Holocaust comment puts Facebook on the spot

NEW YORK — Denying the Holocaust happened is probably OK on Facebook.… Continue reading

Brazilian police arrest ‘Dr. Bumbum’ after patient dies

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian police have arrested celebrated plastic surgeon Denis… Continue reading

Canadian marijuana company Tilray has first US pot IPO

SEATTLE — A Canadian company is the first marijuana business to complete… Continue reading

Dolphins anthem punishment includes suspensions

Miami Dolphins players who protest on the field during the national anthem… Continue reading

Soy “milk” makers may need to find alternative description

NEW YORK — Soy and almond drinks that bill themselves as “milk”… Continue reading

Calgary woman convicted in son’s strep death granted day parole

CALGARY — A woman whose son died after she failed to take… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month