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Saskatchewan launches suicide loss support program

Free, rapid access counselling is now available for people dealing with the loss of friends or family who have died by suicide.

In an announcement Wednesday from the government of Saskatchewan, the counselling is meant to support the immediate psychological needs of families and friends of people who have died by suicide or survived with significant injury or trauma.

“Families and friends who have lost a loved one to suicide or whose loved one has made a suicide attempt will be able to quickly access counselling services at a time when they may need it most,” mental health and addictions minister Tim McLeod said. “This program makes it easier for them to get the psychological supports and services they need after experiencing this trauma.”

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The Rapid Access Counselling for Suicide Loss Program will be delivered in person in Regina (Family Service Regina), Saskatoon (Family Service Saskatoon), Prince Albert (Catholic Family Services) and Humboldt (PARTNERS Family Services) and will be accessible virtually and over the phone across the province.

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Family Service Saskatchewan will provide a range of services that can include referrals, counselling, navigation support, education and awareness for families and communities.

Family Service Saskatchewan said they are developing a network that families and friends can be referred to by individuals, families, health providers, police and other first responders immediately following a suicide or suicide attempt with significant injury or trauma.

“In times of profound grief, Family Service Saskatchewan is committed to providing support for those affected by suicide loss,” Family Service chair Janine Baumann said. “We are proud to announce the launch of our Rapid Access Counselling for those impacted by suicide loss. Our commitment is to ensure accessibility to services during challenging times. Together with our partners, we strive to provide a compassionate and responsive network of care for those in need.”

People can visit www.counsellingconnectsask.ca to book a session through the website.

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