Suicide prevention

Groups push for federal government action

The Canadian Nurses Association and the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health are jointly asking the federal government to create a national framework for suicide prevention.

“Canada’s youth suicide rate is the third highest in the industrialized world. It’s time we understand why and take action to prevent this national tragedy” Canadian Nurses Association president Barb Mildon said in a press release.

“Building suicide-prevention capacity promoting knowledge exchange and informing policy development at all levels of government must continue to be a national priority” added John Higenbottam co-chair of the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health.

Following the national Mental Health Strategy developed in 2012 by the country’s first-ever commission on mental health the federal government passed Bill C-300: the Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention Act. The act requires the government to consult with non-governmental groups associated with mental health and suicide in every province in order to establish a comprehensive suicide prevention plan. However the deadline to conduct consultations and construct a plan is closing in. The government must act by June 13 2013; formal consultations have yet to begin.

According to Statistics Canada there are approximately 3700 suicides every year in Canada. The majority of suicide victims are between 40 and 60 years old with over three times as many men as women committing suicide every year.