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Mental health, addiction, suicide prevention standards introduced in Canada

An Ottawa-based non-profit that helped develop Canada’s long-term care standards now wants to set national guidelines for mental health and addictions treatmentand suicide prevention.

The Health Standards Organization says it’s responding to the growing use of illicit substances in a country where nearly 4,000 people die by suicide each year. 

Spokeswoman Kaye Phillips says the HSO’s aim is to improve care throughout people’s lives, provide more support to their family members and meet the needs of diverse populations, including youth and Indigenous communities. Consultations for the process began in 2017.

Phillips says the well-being of health-care workers is one focus of the standards, which will be adopted by Accreditation Canada next year.

About 1,500 organizations, including hospitals and community care facilities such as treatment centres, are clients of that program.

The federal government is also developing national standards for the same issues, and those introduced today are meant to be a foundation for them before Canada introduces a three-digit suicide prevention hotline in November. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 20, 2023.

Canadian Press health coverage receives support through a partnership with the Canadian Medical Association. CP is solely responsible for this content.

The Canadian Press

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