Green Party of Canada recognizes Suicide Prevention Week

The Green Party of Canada wishes to recognize Quebec’s 24th annual Suicide Prevention Week, taking place this February 2nd to 8th. A new campaign launched this week with the slogan “You’re important to us. Suicide is not an option.” seeks to increase public awareness of the problem of suicide. Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and Member of Parliament for Saanich–Gulf Islands, today emphasized “The urgent need for a national mental health strategy, particularly for our young people.”

Last week, The Quebec Association for the Prevention of Suicide (AQPS) presented the province’s most recent statistics on suicide. In 2011, 1 105 people took their own lives. The Association also reported that each year, there are an estimated 28 000 suicide attempts in the province.

The most recent report from Quebec’s Institut national de santé publique indicates that of the 1 105 suicide victims in 2011, 852 were men and 253 were women. Men are thus 3.4 times more likely than women to commit suicide.

Federally, the law concerning the establishment of a national suicide prevention strategy received Royal Assent December 14, 2012. The Government of Canada then held consultations with federal ministers, provincial and territorial governments, and NGOs in order to develop a comprehensive strategy for suicide prevention.

The law, presented to Parliament as Bill C-300, recognized that suicide, in addition to being a mental health problem, is a public health issue and a health and safety priority. The Public Health Agency of Canada has been holding consultations on the Bill since April 2013, and will conclude its study in Spring 2014.