Dr. Paul Links to present on World Suicide Prevention Day

Sep. 07, 2012

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately one million people worldwide die from suicide each year. Suicide is also one of the leading causes of death among the young.

It is estimated that about five per cent of persons attempt suicide and that death by suicide rates have increased by as much as 60 per cent in some countries. In addition, suicides can be hidden among other causes of death or under-reported for reasons such as stigma, religious concerns and social attitudes.

September 10, 2012 marks the tenth anniversary of World Suicide Prevention Day, with a theme of “Suicide Prevention across the Globe: Strengthening Protective Factors and Instilling Hope". The purpose of the day provides an opportunity for all sectors of the community to join with the International Association for Suicide Prevention and the WHO in focusing public attention on suicidal behaviors and promoting awareness.

Dr. Paul Links, chief of psychiatry at St. Joseph’s Health Care London and London Health Sciences Centre and chair of the department of psychiatry at Western University, will be presenting an educational seminar for health care professionals on World Suicide Day regarding minimizing the risk of suicide for recently discharged patients.

Dr. Links is known for his work and research in suicide studies and advocacy, including his involvement in promoting a national suicide prevention policy in Canada within the House of Commons.

“Suicide Prevention Day serves as a good reminder for clinicians, researchers, teachers and service leaders to appreciate our important role in suicide prevention,” says Dr. Links. “In addition, we have a crucial role to be advocates for suicide prevention and to support initiatives to create a National Suicide Prevention Strategy for Canada…our nation is one of the few developed countries without one.”

Dr. Links says St. Joseph’s Regional Mental Health Care along with the department of psychiatry at Western University, have been actively enhancing collaborative care services, which involves linking primary care providers in the community with mental health care specialists.  “We are focusing on these services because collaborative care models appear to lessen the risk of suicide behavior in patients with depression."

The media is invited to speak with Dr. Paul Links regarding his work, research and advocacy on suicide prevention directly following his presentation.

What: Presentation by Dr. Paul Links on “Psychiatric patient discharge: optimizing patient outcomes and minimizing the risk of suicide”
Where: Wickware Auditorium
Regional Mental Health Care London, 850 Highbury Ave 
When: Monday, September 10, 12:00 to 1:00 pm (World Suicide Prevention Day)

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About St. Joseph’s Health Care London

St. Joseph’s Health Care, London is a major patient care, teaching and research centre with a distinguished legacy of service to London, Southwestern Ontario and the veterans of Canada, dating back more than 130 years. St. Joseph’s five key role areas include acute/ambulatory care, complex care and veterans care, long-term care, rehabilitation and specialized geriatrics and specialized mental health care. Facilities and services including St. Joseph’s Hospital, Parkwood Hospital, Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care and Regional Mental Health Care London and St. Thomas are part of the St. Joseph’s family. Our research arm, the Lawson Health Research Institute, continues to direct their research to the development of new knowledge that is continually being applied directly to patient care. More than 400,000 patients annually receive care from close to 6,000 physicians and staff at St. Joseph’s. St. Joseph’s is affiliated with the University of Western Ontario. www.sjhc.london.on.ca
CARING FOR THE BODY, MIND & SPIRIT SINCE 1869

About London Health Sciences Centre

London Health Sciences Centre has been in the forefront of medicine in Canada for 136 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to Children’s Hospital, South Street Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, two family medical centres, and two research institutes – Children’s Health Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute, a joint research initiative with St. Joseph’s Health Care, London. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 50 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in Southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s nearly 15,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit www.lhsc.on.ca

For media inquiries contact:                           
Renee Sweeney
St. Joseph’s Health Care London
Communication & Public Affairs
519 646-6100 ext. 47788
Renee.Sweeney@sjhc.london.on.ca

Marek Kubow
London Health Sciences Centre
Corporate Communications & Public Relations
519-685-8500 ext. 75155
Marek.Kubow@lhsc.on.ca

After-hours assistance:
Call St. Joseph’s switchboard at 519-646-6100 and ask to page the communicator on-call.

Call LHSC Switchboard at 519-685-8500 and ask to page the communication consultant on-call.

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