ER visits due to suicide higher in Waterloo than the rest of Ontario: report

A new report has found that rates of emergency room visits and hospitalization due to suicide and self-harm are “significantly higher” in Waterloo Region than in Ontario as a whole.

The report, prepared by the region’s public health department and the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council, was presented to a regional council committee on Tuesday.

It finds that the prevalence of mood disorders, suicidal thoughts and planning were “statistically significantly higher in Waterloo Region compared to Ontario,” according to a summary.

It also finds that emergency department visits and hospitalizations related to self-harm were higher in Waterloo Region than the province overall.

However, a letter presented to council’s community services committee warns that “some knowledge gaps” persist about suicide and self-harm, and more research is needed to fill in the blanks.

The report says lesbian, gay, bisexual and Indigenous people had “by far” the highest rates of suicidal behaviour _ often up to four times the overall rate in Waterloo Region.

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© 2019 The Canadian Press

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