The WRSPC is currently working on three key projects, in addition to their work within their three priorities of building sense of community, training and education, and organizational capacity and excellence. The three current key projects are listed below:


Project One: “It Takes A Community” Research Project

In this project, the WRSPC is undertaking research to better understand who is dying by suicide and who is attempting suicide in Waterloo Region in order to better guide our preventative work.  The first phase of our research project was completed, culminating in a report published by Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services (ROWPHE) in partnership with WRSPC entitled “A Community Profile on Suicide and Self-Harm in Waterloo Region”. Through a continued partnership with ROWPHE and the hiring of Centre for Community Based Research, we conducted a second phase of research utilizing interviews with key stakeholders. This phase built a richer, deeper understanding of suicide, self-harm, and suicide prevention services in our Region.
Future phases of this project will continue to investigate our local community context and how preventative initiatives can be tailored to fit us, and will involve knowledge translation and community mobilization to engage our community in the work of suicide prevention based on research learning. 

Committee Members

Amanda Demmer (Co-chair) – Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council

Bianca Prince (Co-chair) – Front Door Children’s Mental Health

Bev Voisin – Salvation Army

Jessica Deming – Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services

Katie McDonald – Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services

Debbie Callahan – Grand River Hospital

Elliot Fraser – Community member & WRSPC volunteer

Rachel Hyland – Community member & WRSPC volunteer

Sandra Ayerst – Waterloo Catholic District Schoolboard

Dena Moitoso – Bereavement Specialist & WRSPC clinical consultant

Colleen Pacey – Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington


Project Two: Hospital Care Resource

The purpose of this priority committee is to conduct an evidence-based understanding of what people and their support circle need in keeping safe from suicide (defined in time) following an individual’s presentation of suicidal thoughts at the hospital emergency room.  The goal is to define what, if any, evidence-based, sustainable supports would be beneficial during this crisis period.

Committee Members

Amanda Demmer (Co-chair) – Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council

Adrienne Luft (Co-chair) – Social Worker & WRSPC Board Chair

Rebecca Pister – Researcher

Kim Hewitt – Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Region

Catrina Clark – Grand River Hospital

Laura McShane – Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Region

Rondi McFarlane – Cambridge Memorial Hospital


Project Three: Men’s Mental Health Initiative

In collaboration with KW Legacy, the purpose of this priority is to develop strength-based and action-oriented messaging and resources that address men’s unique mental health concerns.
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