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    Centre for Suicide Prevention is an education centre, a centre of excellence, based in Calgary, Alberta. We are a branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association.

    We are educators. For 40 years, we’ve been equipping Canadians with the information, knowledge and skills necessary to respond to people considering suicide.

    We educate online, in print, and interactively. Our library of over 50,000 suicide-specific items, the largest English-language collection of its kind, informs the work we do.

    Our Mission

    We educate to save lives through suicide prevention by equipping people with the knowledge and skills to respond to those considering suicide.

    Our Vision

    Mentally healthy people in a healthy society.

    CSP is accredited by Imagine Canada


    We’ve been educating for life since 1981 – first as two separate yet interdependent programs: the Suicide Information and Education Centre (SIEC) and Suicide Prevention Training Programs (SPTP).

    Centre for Suicide Prevention was incorporated in 2005. Learn more about our roots and our contribution to suicide prevention below.

    Government of Alberta (GoA) commissions University of Lethbridge to undertake Task Force on Highway Accidents.
    Task Force on Highway Accidents hypothesizes that many single-car fatalities are suicide motivated. GoA creates Task Force on Suicides to investigate, led by University of Lethbridge sociologist Menno Boldt.
    Task Force on Suicides releases the Boldt Report outlining five themes of recommendations.
    GoA takes Boldt’s advice and appoints the first provincial suicidologist, Dr. Mark Solomon, to develop an Alberta model of suicide prevention. He reports directly to the Minister of Social Services and Community Health.
    Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) - Calgary launches a 5-year task force on suicide with 3 priorities: public education and awareness, training for frontline workers, and survivor support. This was later coined the Alberta Model.
    A Ministerial Order establishes a citizen committee, Suicide Prevention Provincial Advisory Committee, to aid the provincial suicidologist and CMHACalgary, led by visionary Executive Director Ron LaJeunesse, to implement the Alberta Model. GoA provides start-up funding to CMHA-Calgary for Suicide Information and Education Centre (SIEC), to collect and disseminate suicide research.
    GoA funds CMHA-Calgary to develop Suicide Prevention and Training Programs (SPTP) as SIEC team of investigators advocates for an educational approach to suicide prevention, based on early evidence that people considering suicide reach out to friends and family who in turn need to be skilled responders. They begin to develop the world’s first suicide intervention workshop. Together, SIEC and SPTP form what is known today as Centre for Suicide Prevention.
    SIEC/SPTP team launches the Foundation Workshop, the first iteration of Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) and pilots it in Calgary. GoA funds workshop development with the goal of blanketing the province with suicide intervention training consistent in philosophy and approach to promote continuity of care.
    SIEC and SPTP province-wide with administrative responsibility from CMHA-Calgary CMHA-Alberta. Bentley replaces Sim as the Director SIEC/SPTP.
    Gerry Harrington replaces Kathy Bentley as SIEC/ SPTP Director. SPTP hosts its 100th workshop.
    SIEC surpasses 10,000 records in the library.
    SPTP launches a Suicide Bereavement Workshop for Caregivers.
    SPTP develops and distributes a Youth Suicide Awareness Package.
    SPTP develops and pilots a workshop for caregivers of older adults.
    Carmelle Hunka, current Board President, joins SIEC/SPTP Board of Directors. SIEC surpasses 20,000 records in the library.
    SPTP hosts its 1000th workshop, educating 20,000+ workshop participants.
    SPTP develops and launches an Adolescent Suicide Prevention workshop, a precursor to Straight Talk. Suicide Bereavement workshop is re-evaluated and re-launched as Counselling the Bereaved workshop.
    Diane Yackel replaces Gerry Harrington as the SIEC/SPTP Executive Director. SPTP hosts its 2000th workshop.
    Centre for Suicide Prevention (CSP) is formed with the coming together of SIEC and SPTP. CSP surpasses 30,000 records in the library.
    CSP testifies before the Senate of Canada Standing Committee on Human Rights in the development of Senator Michael Kirby’s report Out of the Shadows at Last aimed at improving mental health services in Canada.
    CSP incorporates as a separate legal entity as a branch of CMHA in Alberta. Michael Power, current Board member, joins CSP’s Board of Directors. CSP develops a preliminary version of the Tattered Teddies: Preventing suicide in children workshop and begins offering LivingWorks’ safeTALK workshop. CSP hosts its 3000th workshop.
    Bill Bone, current Board member, joins CSP’s Board of Directors.
    CSP launches Straight Talk: Preventing suicide in youth workshop, a re-developed version of the Tattered Teddies workshop and the Tattered Teddies Handbook.
    CSP launches River of Life: Indigenous Youth Suicide Prevention workshop. CSP surpasses 40,000 records in the library and hosts its 4000th workshop.
    Dave Dart, current Board Secretary-Treasurer, joins CSP’s Board of Directors.
    CSP publishes first freely available print resource focused on educating the general public: Men and Suicide: A High-Risk Population?
    CSP testifies to the Senate of Canada Standing Committee on Human Rights regarding cyberbullying and its relationship to suicide. CSP hosts 5000+ workshops, educating over 10,000 participants.
    CSP launches Walk With Me: Indigenous Suicide Bereavement Workshop; Mara Grunau replaces Diane Yackel as CSP’s Executive Director.
    CSP launches Little Cub: Preventing suicide in Indigenous children workshop. CSP hosts its 6000th workshop.
    CSP hosts first annual Run for Life, an event that remembers those we’ve lost to suicide, and raises awareness for suicide prevention.
    CSP and CMHA-Edmonton co-host the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention 30th annual national conference in Edmonton with the theme of Reconciliation: Honouring the other. CSP and GoA, along with Knowledge Keepers across Alberta, develop and launch the resource: Community-led life promotion plans for Indigenous youth and communities. Jim Campbell joins CSP’s Board of Directors. CSP hosts its 8000th workshop.
    CSP launches the Buddy Up communications campaign for men’s suicide prevention. During the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual workshops are offered for the first time, and updates are made to workshops to accommodate this new delivery.
    CSP redevelops Straight Talk and Tattered Teddies Workshops, relaunching them as Looking Forward and Small Talk, respectively; River of Life and Little Cub workshops are redeveloped with a focus on reconciliation. CSP commemorates its 40th anniversary. To date, nearly 9000 workshops have been facilitated and close to 50,000 library items have been collected. Since the inception of workshops, CSP has offered the equivalent of one workshop every business day.
    Dr. Vincent Agyapong joins CSP's Board of Directors.

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