Dr. Paul Links to present on World Suicide Prevention Day

Friday, September 7, 2012

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately one million people worldwide die from suicide each year. Suicide is also one of the leading causes of death among the young.

It is estimated that about five per cent of persons attempt suicide and that death by suicide rates have increased by as much as 60 per cent in some countries. In addition, suicides can be hidden among other causes of death or under-reported for reasons such as stigma, religious concerns and social attitudes.

September 10, 2012 marks the tenth anniversary of World Suicide Prevention Day, with a theme of "Suicide Prevention across the Globe: Strengthening Protective Factors and Instilling Hope".

The purpose of the day provides an opportunity for all sectors of the community to join with the International Association for Suicide Prevention and the WHO in focusing public attention on suicidal behaviors and promoting awareness.

Dr. Paul Links, Chair/Chief of Psychiatry at St. Joseph's Health Care London, London Health Sciences Centre and Western's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, will be presenting an educational seminar for health care professionals on World Suicide Prevention Day regarding minimizing the risk of suicide for recently discharged patients.

Dr. Links is known for his work and research in suicide studies and advocacy, including his involvement in promoting a national suicide prevention policy in Canada within the House of Commons.

"Suicide Prevention Day serves as a good reminder for clinicians, researchers, teachers and service leaders to appreciate our important role in suicide prevention," says Dr. Links. "In addition, we have a crucial role to be advocates for suicide prevention and to support initiatives to create a National Suicide Prevention Strategy for Canada…our nation is one of the few developed countries without one."

Dr. Links says St. Joseph's Regional Mental Health Care along with the Department of Psychiatry at Western University, have been actively enhancing collaborative care services, which involves linking primary care providers in the community with mental health care specialists. "We are focusing on these services because collaborative care models appear to lessen the risk of suicide behavior in patients with depression."

What: Presentation by Dr. Paul Links on "Psychiatric patient discharge: optimizing patient outcomes and minimizing the risk of suicide"

Where: Wickware Auditorium- Regional Mental Health Care London, 850 Highbury Ave and telecast to Blue Room at RMHC St. Thomas, Victoria Hospital Room B8-131, Woodstock ACTT, Strathroy-Middlesex ACTT, and London ACTT.

When: Monday, September 10, 12:00 to 1:00 pm (World Suicide Prevention Day)