Polar Dip Raises Money for safeTALK trainings

On Saturday, February 18th, many brave souls took a frigid dip to help prevent suicide. The Polar Dip, organized by the Pitel family on behalf of the Sarnia-Lambton Suicide Prevention Committee, was a fun activity where local figures were sponsored to take the plunge into ice cold water! Each participant had to be sponsored to the sum of $500 to ensure their participation. The goal of this event was to help the Pitel family raise at least $3000 to fund safeTALK trainings through the SLSPC. If you are familiar with this family at all, you will not be surprised to learn that they greatly surpassed their goal and raised over $7000!

This of course, would not have been possible without the help of generous pledgers, and the local figures:

Dr. John Butler- Central Lambton Family Health Team
Dr. Lisa Thompson- Petrolia Chiropractic
Tim Garvie – Petrolia Fire Department
Brian Clark – Paramedic
Joel Field- Council Member
Debb, Kevin Pitel and family

Thank you all, especially Deb Pitel for her never ending efforts to help prevent suicide!

safeTALK is a half-day alertness training that prepares anyone over the age of 15, regardless of prior experience or training, to become a suicide-alert helper. Most people with thoughts of suicide don’t truly want to die, but are struggling with the pain in their lives. Through their words and actions, they invite help to stay alive. safeTALK-trained helpers can recognize these invitations and take action by connecting them with life-saving intervention resources, such as caregivers trained in ASIST. Find an upcoming community training.

View the Observer article here.


World Suicide Prevention Day Success

The SLSPC would like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who helped make September 10th, World Suicide Prevention Day a success. A special thanks to Lambton Mall, who went above and beyond to help. This was our first year partnering with Lambton Mall and their kindness and generosity was greatly appreciated. Together, we showed that mental health is not something to be talked about behind closed doors but out in the open!

September 10th was one day for us to connect and promote awareness and show support for those affected by suicide, but we all know that one day is not enough. Together, we have to make an effort every single day. Our work continues, and we hope that yours will too.

Sarnia Lambton committee marks World Suicide Prevention Day : The Observer

The Sarnia Lambton Suicide Prevention Committee hosted an event inside Lambton Mall to mark World Suicide Prevention Day on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016 in Sarnia, Ont. Back row from left are committee members Sharon Berry Ross, Kassie Maxwell and Linda Zoccano. Front row from left are Ellie Fraser, Rachael Simon, Liz Page and Cathy Butler. Terry Bridge/Sarnia Observer/Postmedia Network

The Sarnia Lambton Suicide Prevention Committee hosted an event inside Lambton Mall to mark World Suicide Prevention Day on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016 in Sarnia, Ont. Back row from left are committee members Sharon Berry Ross, Kassie Maxwell and Linda Zoccano. Front row from left are Ellie Fraser, Rachael Simon, Liz Page and Cathy Butler. Terry Bridge/Sarnia Observer/Postmedia Network


Youth Suicide Prevention Committee – Together to Live

Congratulations to the Sarnia-Lambton Youth Suicide Prevention Committee on the production of this video. Created to showcase youth reflecting on their experiences and what it means to be engaged, they share stories about joining the committee and the positive impact it has had on their lives.

The Sarnia-Lambton Youth Suicide Prevention Committee formed as an offshoot of the Sarnia-Lambton Suicide Prevention Committee 3-4 years ago following several deaths by suicide among youth in the community. Youth advocates rallied and pushed for support in response to these deaths. The availability of grant funding from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services has allowed this youth-specific committee to grow in numbers, collaborative efforts and community impact through the development of the Sarnia-Lambton Youth Suicide Prevention Plan.

For more information visit: Sarnia-Lambton Youth Suicide Prevention Plan

125 ‘We Care Packages’ Distributed for Youth Mental Health

Many local agencies care deeply about youth mental health. Together, they are trying to create a supportive and safe community, especially for youth with thoughts of suicide, who enter the mental health care system in Sarnia Lambton. The distribution of “We Care Packages” is one way to show youth that they matter.

The Sarnia Lambton Suicide Prevention Committee and Sarnia Lambton Rebound have partnered for the second year in a row to create 125 We Care packages to be distributed by a variety of service providers including Bluewater Health, local school boards, and St. Clair Child and Youth.

We Care Package

The “We Care Package” is built from the feedback of youth who have personally made the journey to access mental health services. They report difficulty in knowing where to turn for help, often facing long waits, feeling discouraged, confused and unprepared for the journey.

The We Care packages are meant to meet some very basic physical needs, help youth to feel valued and to inspire hope. They include clear information about how to connect with local helping agencies, a water bottle, snacks, a mandala colouring book and pencil crayons. Youth who have had to stay overnight at the hospital recommended the kit include toiletries and therefore has shampoo, conditioner, body wash, a toothbrush, and toothpaste. There are a variety of other items included such as a “Give Hope a Voice” bracelet and a stress star.

“The We Care package is one way to narrow the gap- the gap where a person may feel they are uncared about,” says Cathy Butler a SLSPC volunteer. “We would like the youth and parent/caregiver to be aware that there are people and many agencies in our community who care about them and are available to help.”

The We Care packages are funded by grant from the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth. The packages were put together by many local agencies and individuals who have volunteered their time to help support our youth.

Community, Connection & Collaboration – Suicide Prevention Conference

Community Connection Collaboration Conference Sept 29 30 Save the Date

See information below from the LHIN about their upcoming Suicide Prevention Conference presented in partnership with CMHA Lambton Kent:

Suicide is a complex issue that affects individuals of any age, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, or cultural background. The Mental Health Commission of Canada identified suicide as the leading cause of injury related fatality in Canada, and the second leading cause of death amongst individuals ages 15-34. The literature consistently reports that suicides are highest amongst older males, First Nation’s People, and youth. A growing concern is the increasing amount of suicides amongst the elderly.

Suicide prevention is everyone’s business. Prevention encompasses a range of interventions including: health promotion and prevention, crisis support and ongoing intervention, as well as support for the individuals, families, and communities that have been affected by suicide attempts or suicide loss.

The Erie St. Clair LHIN is establishing communities of practice to leverage existing strategies, ensuring formal and informal system responses for individuals in need.

To develop local communities of practice, the Erie St. Clair LHIN in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association Lambton Kent Branch is pleased to invite you to a two day working conference that will share leading practices from other jurisdictions, including approaches to reach unique population groups. We will work to identify the strengths and opportunities within each of the three regions in Erie St. Clair to further develop comprehensive coordinated strategies.

Individuals are invited to register for either Day 1 – the “Kick-Off Conference”, or Day 1 and 2, which will encompass the “Working Conference”.

Day 1: Tuesday, September 29, 2015, 8:30am – 4:30pm (registration at 8:00am)

Day 2: Wednesday, September 30, 2015, 8:30am – 4:30pm

John D. Bradley Convention Centre

565 Richmond St.

Chatham, ON N7M 1R2

Please RSVP here, By Friday, September 4, 2015.

Additionally, we have a block of rooms reserved at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites in Chatham for $129.99 a night. Please book your room before August 28th, as the block of rooms will only be held until this date.

Room bookings: http://www.hiexpress.com/redirect?path=hd&brandCode=ex&localeCode=en&regionCode=1&hotelCode=XCMTM&_PMID=99801505&GPC=CMH

Please do not hesitate to contact Colleen Close at 1-866-231-5446 ext. 3226, or [email protected] for further information.

Please feel free to share this Save the Date with your colleagues or other community members that may be interested.

“We Care”Packages at Bluewater Health

We’ve been busy!  Thanks to a grant from the Ministry of Child and Youth Services with Together To Live, we have been able to compile and distribute over 150 “We Care” packages to the emergency department for individuals needing support at the Bluewater Health Emergency Department.

For more details on the project, check out this article.

If you have received a package and would like to let us know how we did, email or call:

[email protected]

(226) 932-6101


Our staff Cathy Butler with supporters from Bluewater Health. Photo cred: Bluewater Health

Our staff Cathy Butler with supporters from Bluewater Health.
Photo cred: Bluewater Health

Suicide Prevention Committee and County of Lambton Partnership

We are excited to announce a new partnership with the County of Lambton! For their annual spring training, each staff member of the County of Lambton EMS will be receiving safeTALK training to help them to better serve the patients they see as well as their coworkers and loved ones around them who may be experiencing thoughts of suicide. Members of the Sarnia Lambton Suicide Prevention Committee will be providing this 3 hour, gateway training that encourages everyone who takes it to be alert to the signs of suicide and connect that individual with the supports they need to keep them safe in our community. It is our hope that this information will connect more people with the help they need to live.

These trainings are for staff only but safeTALK is frequently being provided to the community. If you are interested in finding the next training near you, see our events page or search the Livingworks database for similar workshops in your area!

Sarnia Lambton Arts Council Helps to Raise Over $12000 for Suicide Prevention

Thank you everyone who helped An Event Apart 2014 become such a rousing success.  With gracious volunteers, talented artists, and unsuspecting Christmas shoppers, over $12 000 was raised for suicide prevention efforts in Sarnia Lambton.

If you want to get involved in any those efforts, check out the rest of our site or email [email protected] with any questions.

You can also check out The Observer article and a picture of the cheque presentation here.


New Way to Contact Us!

Hi Everyone,

Time to update your contacts!  We have a new email address so we can connect with you and answer your questions as soon as possible.

So, if you want more information about suicide prevention, the committee, or how to get involved, please contact [email protected].

Please stay tuned for an updated phone number to come as well!

Thanks and stay well.

– Your Suicide Prevention Committee

RNAO Hosting Community Forum on Suicide Prevention

Suicide prevention is fast becoming a less taboo topic worldwide with the recent World Suicide Prevention Day and high profile suicides by well known movie stars and cyber-bullying victims.  But do you ever wonder what is going on in your own community about suicide prevention?

This Thursday, the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario is holding a community forum about suicide prevention right here in Sarnia Lambton.  A panel of speakers from local agencies working towards a healthier, safer community will speak about local initiatives throughout Sarnia Lambton.  Guests include speakers from the RNAO, Lambton Public Health, Bluewater Heath, Community Care Access Centre, Jack Project at Lambton College, the Sarnia Lambton Suicide Prevention Committee, and the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Attendance is free but donations will be accepted for the Suicide Prevention Committee.  The event will be held on October 23 at 6:30pm at the Lambton Event Centre.  See our events calendar for more information.

This is a cause we can all get behind – looking forward to seeing you there!