Message from the Minister of Health – World Suicide Prevention Day 2018

September 10, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario – Government of Canada

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness, promoting understanding and taking action to prevent losses of life to suicide. Suicide affects people of all ages and backgrounds and, in Canada alone, an average of 11 people die by suicide each day. Each one of these lives lost represents someone’s partner, child, parent, friend or colleague.

This year’s theme—Working Together to Prevent Suicide—reminds us that everyone can play a role in suicide prevention. You can help by talking with a friend, family member, co-worker or anyone who may need support; by becoming more aware of the tools and resources that can provide assistance; and by learning about appropriate language to use in relation to suicide to avoid stigma and encourage people to feel more comfortable talking about mental health or suicide.

The Government of Canada works with partners and stakeholders from across the country as well as people affected by suicide to promote positive mental health and to help prevent suicide in Canada. Our efforts complement those of the provinces, territories and Indigenous organizations. We are working to connect people to information and resources; to improve access to quality mental health services; and to foster research and innovation—all with the goals of raising awareness, reducing stigma and preventing suicide.

The Government of Canada is investing more than $2 million over five years to support the development of a national suicide prevention service, so that all Canadians can access free, confidential crisis support from trained responders. We want Canadians to know that they are not alone and that help is available for suicide crisis and prevention. The toll-free number for the Canada Suicide Prevention Service is 1-833-456-4566.

We also run a national, 24/7, toll-free crisis response line to provide First Nations and Inuit individuals with immediate counselling services that are culturally appropriate. Counselling is offered in French and English, as well as in Cree, Ojibwe and Inuktitut. The toll-free number for the First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line is 1-855-242-3310.

Crisis services are also available from Kids Help Phone and local crisis centres.

I encourage you to connect with others, show your support, and get involved in World Suicide Prevention Day activities taking place across Canada and internationally.

Let’s work together to build communities that are hopeful, helpful and supportive of mental well-being. Together we can help prevent suicide.

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Health

Associated Links

Crisis Centres in Canada
First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line
Government of Canada Suicide Prevention pages
Suicide in Canada – infographic
Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention
International Association for Suicide Prevention


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