The Community Helpers Program is a suicide prevention program that is targeted for youth and adults ages 12 and over. It can be delivered in both school and community settings.
This is not a counselling or crisis service. If this is an emergency please call 911. If you are needing to speak to someone, please call Health Link at 811.
The Community Helpers Program takes place in community-based settings (schools, workplaces, community organizations) and enhances community capacity for mental health through an assets based approach. Primarily, the Community Helpers Program targets youth and young adults between the ages of 12-30.
In every community there are people whom others naturally turn to for support. They are from all walks of life and are considered by others to be helpers. Helpers possess characteristics like empathy, care, and compassion. The Community Helpers Program identifies these helpers and offers training to strengthen their natural abilities. Helpers learn a variety of topics and skills including effective communication, self-care, coping with stress, knowing when to refer people to professional services, handling crisis situations, and suicide awareness. In addition to developing skills and increasing knowledge, Helpers are introduced to community services and professional supports. This connection bridges informal and formal supports in the community, enabling helpers to refer peers and family to expert support when needed.
Objectives of the Community Helpers Program include:
- Bridge “formal” and “informal” support for young people
- Early identification of young people who may be at risk
- Prevention and early intervention
- Provide young people and community with accurate information and resources
- Link young people to existing service providers
- Build community capacity for mental health promotion
- Reduce stigma of mental health and suicide by raising awareness and understanding of the factors that contribute to poor mental health and suicide