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Every Canadian Can Help Prevent Suicide

Attention: News, Health, Medical and Lifestyle Editors

Ottawa, ON, September 10, 2013—On World Suicide Prevention Day, the Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA) stands with the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP) and Inuit Tapririt Kanatami, the national voice of Canada’s Inuit, in encouraging all Canadians to join the international movement to take action and save lives. Each year more than 3,500 Canadians die by suicide. It is estimated that 90 per cent of those who die by
suicide have a diagnosable mental illness. Canada’s psychiatrists urge individuals, families, friends, workplaces, communities, and governments to open a dialogue about suicide and act to prevent it.

“Many of these deaths are preventable but suicide is an issue surrounded by fear, shame and silence. A more open dialogue has begun and we all have a role to play. As individuals, we can break through the barrier of stigma by speaking about the mental illnesses that can lead to suicidal thoughts, plans and acts. We can educate ourselves about the warning signs and how to talk about suicide and respond to someone who tells us they are suicidal,” says Dr. Suzane Renaud, President of the CPA. The federal government recognizes suicide as a public health priority. Last year, Conservative MP Harold Albrecht introduced Bill C-300 to establish a federal framework for suicide prevention. The Bill was supported by CPA and many other mental health organizations and received overwhelming bipartisan support. In December 2012, the Parliament of Canada enacted legislation to establish the framework and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is currently consulting with stakeholders nationwide, including the

Health professionals are helping prevent suicide by treating Canadians with mental illness and sharing their research and expertise. Along with the Commission, PHAC, CASP, and many other organizations, the CPA is part of a National Collaborative on Suicide Prevention. The Collaborative aims to build suicide-prevention capacity, promote knowledge exchange and inform public policy development. Suicide prevention is a critical element of our national mental health strategy.

The theme for World Suicide Prevention Day is Stigma: A Major Barrier to Suicide Prevention. Building on this, Canada’s theme is Hope and Resiliency at Home and Work. Families and workplaces play a critical role in helping family members and employees develop the coping skills to face life’s unavoidable stresses. For more information on World Suicide Prevention Day, downloadable posters, brochures and other tools, visit the MHCC website and the CASP website.


The Canadian Psychiatric Association is the national voice for Canada’s 4,500 psychiatrists and more than 600 psychiatric residents. Founded in 1951, the CPA is dedicated to promoting an environment that fosters excellence in the provision of clinical care, education and research.

Hélène Côté
Canadian Psychiatric Association
[email protected]
1-613-234-2815 (232) or 613-297-5038