The diocese of Toronto has given a $100,000-grant to the suicide prevention program of the Council of the North. The council administers the Anglican Church of Canada’s mission and ministry in the North, where suicide rates are four to five times higher than the national average. “The issue of suicide is pandemic in aboriginal communities, [especially] among youth,” said Archbishop Colin Johnson, bishop of the diocese of Toronto and metropolitan of the ecclesiastical province of Ontario. “Money won’t cure it,” but programs “that have some history of making a difference are worth supporting,” he told the Anglican Journal. The program began in 2009, when Canadian Anglicans raised $94,000 during the Amazing Grace campaign. “We have a gospel of hope,” said Archbishop Johnson. “I think suicide prevention needs to be based on a sense that there is some future.”
The unrestricted grant is a tithe from the diocese’s Ministry Allocation Fund (MAF). Proceeds from the sale of the diocese’s properties go to the MAF, which allocated 10 per cent of the proceeds to support innovative ministry “beyond the diocese,” said Archbishop Johnson. Since 2009, the MAF has given grants to support projects such as the rebuilding of St. Jude’s Anglican Cathedral in Iqaluit.