Regional Suicide Prevention Leader

Canadian Mental Health Association - BC DivisionGreater Victoria, Sooke, West Shore4 days ago

About Us

Founded in 1918, The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is a national charity that helps maintain and improve mental health for all Canadians. As a nation-wide leader and champion for mental health and addiction, we help people access the community resources they need to build resilience and support recovery from mental illness and/or addiction. Mental health, substance use and addictive behaviour are within the scope of CMHA BC Division, and we provide a wide range of innovative services and supports tailored to and in partnership with our diverse communities.

Project Purpose

Suicide prevention is a major public health issue and leading cause of death in Canada, yet in the last ten years, suicide rates in Canada have gone unchanged. That being said, through education and evidence-based prevention programs, suicide is highly preventable.

To try to reduce the impacts of suicide in Canada, the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) is proposing a “Made in Canada” Suicide Prevention Demonstration Project. MHCC is working with the Canadian Mental Health Association to build upon community expertise to implement and test proven suicide prevention interventions in one or more communities within the province. It is anticipated that the project would begin in the Westshore and Sooke communities. The goals of the project would be to develop an evidence base, including best practices and suicide prevention guidelines and tools to support implementing suicide prevention activities across Canada.


The “Made in Canada” Suicide Prevention Research Demonstration Project would focus on five areas:

•  Specialized supports: which would include a range of possible prevention, crisis and postvention services such as crisis lines, support groups and coordinated planning and access.

•  Training and Networks: that better equip community gatekeepers (physicians, first responders, nurses, HR staff and managers, teachers, etc.) by providing access to training and ongoing learning opportunities.

•  Public awareness campaigns: locally driven campaigns (posters, brochures, social media, etc.).

•  Means safety: support communities to identify “hot spots” (the methods or places where a high number of suicides occur) and to implement measures to safely access to these methods of suicide (e.g., building barriers on bridges or at railway crossings, protocols for medication access).

•  Research: to increase the suicide prevention evidence base that we could draw on. This would include setting research priorities, conducting surveillance and monitoring, as well as evaluating the “Made in Canada” model itself.


The Community will develop a plan that builds on local programs and expertise to ensure the demonstration project meets their community’s needs, while still aligning with the national project and the other provinces/territories participating. This ensures that the demonstration project is grounded in the knowledge and experience of local community leaders.

About You

As the Regional Suicide Prevention Lead you demonstrate an interest and passion for mental wellness and a vast knowledge of suicide prevention strategy. You are a leader with expertise in communication and facilitation. You have the familiarity and ability to engage a diverse array of local and national stakeholders, including but not limited to municipal and provincial governments. You are highly skilled at providing strategic advice in complex situations, and you thrive in a changing environment.  

You engage and work collaboratively with others to determine long-term strategic goals, and emphasize and uphold the importance of including people with lived and living experience in your work. You are a proactive and solution focused project manager that values transparency to develop and enhance programs and policies. You are a mental health advocate that validates the experiences of others and you uphold and embody the values of the Canadian Mental Health Association.

About the Role

The Regional Suicide Prevention Leader provides a vital link between their respective site and the national project, assisting in facilitating the development and implementation of the Suicide Prevention Research Demonstration Project in their province as well as the sustainability of the suicide prevention services demonstrated to be effective during the project. The role of the Regional Suicide Prevention Leader is dynamic, and changes as necessary to provide local leadership, link to national aspects and align with the current phase(s) in the five-year project. The Regional Suicide Prevention Leader assists with local budget planning and expenditure monitoring throughout the project.  


The primary phases of the project, which are not necessarily sequential and may overlap significantly, are:

•  Phase One — Planning and Preparation

•  Phase Two — Implementation

•  Phase Three — Reporting and Knowledge Exchange

•  Phase Four — Scaling Up

Duties & Responsibilities

Under the supervision of the Chief Executive Officer [i]at CMHA BC Division with accountabilities to a regional consortium of agencies, organizations, and structures.

·     Acts as a key communication link between the MHCC and members of the local group including service providers, researchers and government officials regarding all aspects of the project, i.e. administration, research, service, communication, and knowledge exchange.

·     Facilitates the project planning and implementation process in collaboration with local players.

·     Works to leverage MHCC resources with local resources that can contribute to the project’s success.

·     Brings knowledge of local context into central planning processes.

·     Participates as a key player in local and national planning, management and decision making.

·     Works collaboratively with all members of the National project team including Community Coordinators from other provincial/territorial sites.

·     Organizes local forums for consultation regarding project design, implementation and the interpretation and communication of results.

·     Ensures the participation of persons with lived experience in all aspects of the project.

·     Establishes, supports and chairs a Local Advisory Committee for the project that includes persons with lived experience, service providers and key government decision makers in provincial/territorial ministries responsible for suicide prevention.

·     Provides oversight to the local project and ensures all local project and contract deliverables are met.

·     Participates as a member of national groups and calls as required.

·     Applies project management methodology to the project and provides updates to use in reporting progress to the Project Administrator (MHCC) and the Project Lead (Canadian Mental Health Association).

·     Responsible for recommending adjustments to annual service operating budgets and monitoring performance and related program expenditures to ensure compliance with financial guidelines, contractual obligations and performance targets.

·     Liaises with provincial and municipal governments to elicit involvement and plan for sustainability.

·     Is the first line for problem solving, conflict remediation and coordination of the multiple interests involved in the local sites.

·     In consultation with the MHCC, may respond to media requests and provide interviews for local media regarding the local project.

·     Keeps the Project Administrator and Project Lead informed regarding emerging issues and local challenges that may impact the success of the project including meeting of timelines/deadlines.

Desired Education & Experience


•    A minimum Bachelor’s degree in Health and Social Services, Behavioral Sciences or Public Administration

·     Master’s degree preferred


Required Experience:

·     Credible leader with experience in complex planning and project development that includes multiple stakeholders, including academics, service providers and consumers.

·     Project management experience/training an asset.

·     Public speaking and the ability to engage the media (TV, radio or written) clearly and professionally.

·     Minimum of 5 years’ experience in a comparable role:

·       In the non-profit sector, ideally in a health, mental health or substance use context

·       Working compassionately and ethically with people with lived and living experience from all walks of life, including populations that face greater health inequities

·       As a leading member in complex multi-agency collaborative


Knowledge of:

·     In depth knowledge of local context as it pertains to suicide prevention, life promotion and mental health and wellness issues.

·     Keen awareness and understanding of challenges in the local context.


Skills and Abilities:

·     Ability to engage and collaborate with government officials.

·     Ability to engage multiple stakeholders with varied goals and interests and facilitate their joining together to achieve a common goal.

·     Strong communication and facilitation skills.

·     Solid relationships with key policy and service organizations that will contribute to and learn from project.

·     Well versed in the relevant political, social and clinical knowledge bases.

·     Appreciation of value of evidence informed decision making and special properties associated with research demonstration project.

·     Proactive/solution-focused attitude.

·     Recognizes potential obstacles and works to resolve them within set timelines.

·     Understands the needs of others.

·     Flexible and open to change.

·     Conscientious and precise delivery of work even when under pressure.

·     Bilingual in French and English an asset.


Working Conditions

This full-time position will have a home base at the CMHA Victoria Office. However, given the regional nature of the role, there will be an opportunity for the incumbent to work out of the offices of partners on the West Shore and Sooke. This is a unionized position under the Health Sciences Association Bargaining Association Collective Agreement with the Health Employers Association.

How to Apply

Please submit your resume along with a cover letter, clearly documenting how you satisfy the requirements outlined in this job posting to by 5 p.m. May 7, 2021. We regret that only short-listed candidates will be contacted to schedule an interview.

We sincerely thank you for your interest in work at CMHA BC Division.

[i] Once the program is underway, supervision will no longer be provided by the CEO. New supervisor TBD. 

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