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Suicide and mental health are deeply connected -- it’s estimated that 90% of people who die by suicide were experiencing a mental health problem or illness. Suicide is a serious public health problem with lasting, harmful effects on individuals, families, and communities.
One of the top 10 causes of death in Canada, suicide trends in both youth and Indigenous peoples in Canada have reached epidemic proportions.
Suicide prevention and life promotion are possible. We all have a role to play.
Suicide remains an issue surrounded by fear, shame, and silence. While the causes of suicide are complex, we know promotion of good mental health, prevention of mental illness, and reduction of stigma all contribute to mental wellness, life promotion and suicide prevention. Addressing the social determinants of health, reducing risk factors, increasing protective factors, improving access to services, treatment and support, as well as improving understanding of mental health, also play a crucial roles in prevention.
Promoting mental health and preventing mental illness and suicide wherever possible is one of the six strategic directions of Changing Directions, Changing Lives: The Mental Health Strategy for Canada. That’s why the MHCC is dedicated to promoting life and preventing suicide in Canada, and is collaborating with many partners to increase capacity for suicide prevention, life promotion, postvention and intervention.
In addition to leading our own work, the MHCC collaborates with partners, including the Public Health Agency of Canada and supports the Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention.
The MHCC also works with the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP) and the Centre for Suicide Prevention — two organizations committed to reduced suicide rates and minimize the consequences of suicide by educating, facilitating, supporting and advising.
The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) is committed to promoting mental health and wellness and preventing suicide in Canada and has made work in this area a top priority. Click on the links below for more information.