Suicide is a tragedy that affects everyone. On average, more than ten people die by suicide every day in Canada, and for every death by suicide, there are many more suicide attempts. The impact on family, friends, colleagues and communities is profound.
As Minister of Health and as a physician, I know how important it is to shed light on suicide as a public health matter. Every suicide loss is one loss too many.
The Government of Canada has made supporting mental health and preventing suicide a government-wide priority. Over the past year, I have met with provincial and territorial ministers of health to work on immediate priorities for a new health accord, including improving access to mental health services. I have worked with Indigenous leadership to improve the mental wellness of Indigenous Peoples and bring hope to communities. I am also working with my colleagues to strengthen mental wellness programs and suicide prevention efforts for all Canadians, including Veterans, members of the Canadian Armed Forces, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and newcomers to Canada.
The Government of Canada’s approach to suicide prevention builds on the strategic objectives laid out in the Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention, following consultations with federal, provincial and territorial governments, non-governmental organizations, national Indigenous organizations, subject matter experts and Canadians who offered their experience, knowledge and expertise, as well as their personal stories related to suicide and its prevention.
I am pleased to present the 2016 Progress Report on the Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention, which communicates the Government of Canada’s actions on suicide prevention over the last year. With our stakeholders and partners, we are working to raise public awareness and reduce the stigma associated with suicide. We are continuing to build partnerships and initiatives that better connect Canadians with information and support that help to prevent suicide. And we are ensuring our efforts are grounded in the best available evidence on suicide prevention.
By taking action, we can all contribute to the prevention of suicide in Canada. I encourage you to be a part of the solution – everyone has a role to play. Working together, we will inspire hope, build resilience, and foster supportive, compassionate communities to help prevent suicide.