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Twelve per cent of surveyed Ottawa students considered attempting suicide in the past year. To help make Ottawa suicide-safer, OPH and the Ottawa Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association provided 11 safeTALK training sessions for youth and parents in 2012, giving them the ability to intervene with someone who has thoughts of suicide. One hundred per cent of the youth and parents who attended the sessions reported that they would recommend the training to others.
OPH has also implemented Healthy Transitions: a universal program designed to promote mental health in young adolescents. The goals of the program are achieved by increasing knowledge and skills among youth that are important for mental health as well as promoting environments at home and school that support healthy adolescent development, and strengthening links between schools and community agencies. A total of 4,505 students, 219 teachers and 217 parents received the program in 2012.
safeTalk training and Healthy Transitions are components of OPH’s three-year mental health promotion and suicide prevention strategy for children and youth.