Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

Canadians Rally in Support of Suicide Prevention

September 8, 2012

OTTAWA, Sept. 8, 2012 /CNW/ – September 10(th) is World Suicide Prevention Day. Suicide is the leading cause of injury
related fatality in Canada. In 2009 alone, there were about 100,000
years of potential life lost to Canadians under the age of 75 as a
result of suicides, and it is estimated that well over 3,000,000
Canadians have been touched by suicide in some way. Among those aged 15
to 34, suicide was the second leading cause of death.

This year, communities across Canada will be gathering to remember
family and friends who died when despair overcame hope, and to support
those who grieve, help those who struggle with living and renew a
commitment to building a compassionate and caring society. Scheduled
events across the country include memorial walks and runs, remembrance
gatherings, candle light vigils, and informational workshops.

In keeping with the theme for this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day
in Canada, “All Together – Promoting Hope and Resiliency,” the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP), the Mental
Health Commission of Canada, the Canadian Mental Health Association,
the Canadian Psychiatric Association, the Canadian Psychological
Association and the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental
Health (CAMIMH) stress the importance of bringing people and groups
together to promote a collaborative approach to suicide prevention.

The organizations note that there has been a very positive and
significant shift in national attention devoted to this important
public health issue. In addition to a growing number of courageous
testimonials on the effect of suicide on people, families and
communities, this past year saw Parliament for the first time become
actively engaged in a serious discussion of suicide prevention.  A
private member’s bill to establish a national framework on suicide
prevention was introduced by the Hon. Harold Albrecht (Bill C300) and
received overwhelming bi-partisan support. It is expected to be passed
in the upcoming session of Parliament.

At the same time, organizations and individuals are increasingly
recognizing the importance of addressing the issue of suicide across
systems, across disciplines and across jurisdictions. Last May, people
from across the country met in Ottawa to discuss the creation of a
National Collaborative for Suicide Prevention, and there are renewed
efforts underway to develop a Canadian Distress Line Network. It is
estimated that 90% of people who die by suicide were experiencing a
mental health problem or illness, and the release of Canada’s
first-ever mental health strategy in May provides an opportunity for
improving the ability of the mental health system to help to prevent

Resources that contribute to suicide prevention by helping people
believe in the possibility of building a life of dignity, purpose, and
hope are increasingly being made available. These include a series of
new resources produced by CASP in partnership with Klinic Community
Centre in Winnipeg (“Hope and Healing at Work” and “Hope and Healing at Home“) which will be launched on September 10(th).  These and other resources are available on CASP’s website www.suicideprevention.ca.

The views represented herein solely represent the views of the Mental
Health Commission of Canada.

Production of this document is made possible through a financial
contribution from Health Canada.

SOURCE Mental Health Commission of Canada

Source: PR Newswire