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Skills for Safer Living

A Suicide-Intervention Support Group

The Skills for Safer Living program is a combination of a twenty-week skills-based group and a peer support group for individuals with recurring thoughts and behaviours about suicide. The group process and content has been derived from the innovative work of Dr, Yvonne Bergmans and developed at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. The Skills for Safer Living program at CMHA WW is provided by a team of skilled peer supporters who have extensive practice and lived experience knowledge around understanding and preventing suicide.

The Skills for Safer Living Group runs for twenty weeks and provides group participants the opportunity to develop specific strategies and skills to identify, interrupt, and change their behaviour about suicide. The maximum number of participants in each group is twelve. Group participants must be able to meet the following criteria:

  1. Individuals must have a minimum of one self-reported suicide attempt or experience ongoing struggles with suicide related thoughts and behaviors.
  2. Individuals must have stable housing.
  3. Individuals must be connected to some type of a support in the community (doctor, social worker, therapist, case manager, peer worker etc.) who can provide them occasional individual emotional support throughout the individuals participation in the 20 week group intervention
  4. Individuals must be able to get to the group (virtual and in-person options are available) and be able to participate for the duration of the group (approximately 5 months)

At the conclusion of the twenty-week skills group, participants will be invited to attend a peer support group that provides participants the opportunity to practice and refresh the skills they have learned.

Referrals for Skills for Safer Living can be made by contacting H24/7.  This program currently has a waitlist.


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