September 10 marks World Suicide Prevention Day and we’re reaching out to the community to let them know, there is help available.
In 2013, DRP responded to more than 500 incidents involving suicides or attempted suicides. We want that number to change. In order to help our citizens deal with these, and other mental health issues, a partnership between Durham Regional Police Service and Durham Mental Health Services was created to improve service within our Region.
With funding from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care through Durham Mental Health Services, a Mental Health Response Unit (MHSU/MCIT) is helping frontline police officers deal with serious mental health calls. Our team responds to frontline officers' requests for assistance with situations that require skilled mental health interventions. We work to both resolve the immediate situation, and then, make sure the person who is experiencing a mental health challenge is given the help he or she needs. Backup for the MHSU is provided by Durham Mental Health Crisis Services.
"Police officers are often called when somebody's mental illness is causing problems for them, or their families or for the public," says Constable Scott Logan, the DRPS police officer dedicated to the MHSU. "Often people are afraid. Our officers are doing a great job of calling us in to help. Our first priority is to make sure that everybody is safe, to calm things down and then get them the assistance they need."
Please utilize the services available in our Region if you, or a loved one, are in need of assistance. A list of resources can be found on our Mental Health Unit page.
Facts about suicide according to the World Health Organization:
• Every year, almost one million people die from suicide; a "global" mortality rate of 16 per 100,000, or one death every 40 seconds.
• In the last 45 years suicide rates have increased by 60% worldwide. Suicide is among the three leading causes of death among those aged 15-44 years in some countries, and the second leading cause of death in the 10-24 years age group; these figures do not include suicide attempts which are up to 20 times more frequent than completed suicide.
• Suicide worldwide is estimated to represent 1.8% of the total global burden of disease in 1998, and 2.4% in countries with market and former socialist economies in 2020.
• Although traditionally suicide rates have been highest among the male elderly, rates among young people have been increasing to such an extent that they are now the group at highest risk in a third of countries, in both developed and developing countries.
• Mental disorders (particularly depression and alcohol use disorders) are a major risk factor for suicide in Europe and North America; however, in Asian countries impulsiveness plays an important role. Suicide is complex with psychological, social, biological, cultural and environmental factors involved.
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