February 5 to 11, 2023, is the 33rd annual Suicide Prevention Week, with the theme: Promoting life every day! #promouvoirlavie For Nmédia, this is a significant cause in which we're heavily involved.

Andréa Gauvin
February 9, 2023

February 5 to 11, 2023, is the 33rd annual Suicide Prevention Week, with the theme: Promoting life every day! #promouvoirlavie For Nmédia, this is a significant cause in which we're heavily involved.

Andréa Gauvin
February 9, 2023

One of our concrete actions has been to create a customized call management software for the Centre d'écoute et de prévention suicide Drummond (CEPSD). Because while technology can sometimes be implicated in cyberbullying, for Nmédia it's a positive ally, and we want to use its strengths to help the organization! Find out who it's for, what it's for and how it was created.

CEPSD's contribution to suicide prevention

CEPSD dares to tackle suicide to prevent it better! Their team comprises ten counselors with their hearts in their hands and many volunteers who have been with us for almost 40 years. Dedicated counselors who take calls from people who simply want to talk, confide or need support because they're going through a suicidal crisis or rough time. All those who work here have made their careers a true vocation. Every day, their role is to bring callers back to the positive, to the part of them that intrinsically wants to live. There are always great victories to celebrate, which motivates the team so much!

"When someone calls and tells us they want to die and there's nothing left to keep them alive, that's not the case, because this person has taken the trouble to call, this person wants to fight on and move on...and we have to make them understand all the good reasons to keep going!" - Kim, a counselor at CEPS Drummond for 13 years.

The organization also has a support service for people bereaved by suicide and those worried about a loved one. These services offer individual or group meetings to help with grief, provide support and encourage sharing.

Want to find out more? Visit the organization's Facebook page.

Who uses CEPSD services?

The listening section is, of course, open to all! However, the 60-and-over age group stands out in the statistics. As for the suicide section, which is also available to all, the age range of callers is approximately 50 to 59.

According to the CEPSD, younger callers are more likely to confide in their peers, and the telephone aspect can sometimes be a barrier. Some young people also prefer to call only to lend a hand to their friends and not for themselves.

That's why the CEPSD makes sure to counter this effect by deploying numerous in-school training sessions to equip as many caregivers as possible in addition to its telephone service. These training sessions focus on preserving life rather than preventing suicide, and every youth worker is trained to act quickly in the event of a suicidal idea.

For elementary schools, the organization has also launched the École créatrice d'espoir initiative: a collaborative plan that invites 15 regional schools to join forces to beautify and enrich the educational environment in which our children grow up.

The need for an efficient tool

The work of CEPSD employees is colossal, for even in the small town of Drummondville, they receive an average of 8,000 calls a year, and during the pandemic, this figure soared to over 12,000. No doubt, distress is real wherever people live, regardless of age or sex.

However, services are less available in more rural areas, even though demand is very high. This is where the collaboration between CEPSD and Nmédia was born. Initially, the CEPSD had a specific database for its calls, but all intervention plans were created on paper. This made it easy to get lost and difficult to transfer information between operators. As time went by, the need became more and more pressing: the team needed a more efficient database to analyze and produce better intervention plans.

Discussions occurred between Kim, a CEPSD stakeholder, and Nathalie Parent, a Dynamics 365 and Power Platform programmer-analyst at Nmédia and a CEPSD Board of Directors member, to identify the real needs and create the perfect tool. It has to be said that Nathalie has the cause tattooed on her heart, having benefited from the center's services following the loss of a loved one.

Use and benefits of the tool

The tool was designed using Power Platform's customer service module. Several customizations have been added (including an intervention screen), responding to the need for rapid call handling and providing all the necessary information at your fingertips.

While most calls are anonymous, it is possible to store essential information in the platform for statistical purposes, such as region, gender or age group. This makes it possible to offer services that meet the region's needs. Using color codes also makes it possible to assess the urgency level quickly.

With the caller's consent, the CEPSD can conduct a follow-up if necessary. At this point, contact information and historical milestones can be stored, enabling better reactivity, prioritization and knowledge of the caller.

Follow-up tasks can also be created, helping with planning and the very human follow-up for which the CEPSD is renowned.

Communication between operators is also greatly facilitated, helping to reduce everyone's mental workload.

Doing your bit for the cause

Are you looking to support the cause? Don't know how? You can become a sentinel by taking a training course. The Agir en sentinelle pour la prévention du suicide (Acting as a sentinel for suicide prevention) training program is aimed at adults likely to be in contact with people at risk of suicide through their work, volunteer activities, or place in their community. These are people chosen for their close links with at-risk groups or environments, who commit themselves voluntarily and are trained and supported to play their role. But they can also be people who want to help those around them.

Did you know that there are many trained sentinels at Nmédia, which acts as a promoter of life, and that Drummondville is one of the cities with the most sentinels, all groups combined? A source of pride!

Sign up to become a promoter of life!

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