Today, Canada joins with more than 150 countries across the world to mark World Mental Health Day, with this year’s focus on suicide prevention. If mental health matters to you, or if you or a loved one have been affected by suicide, it’s time to raise your voice and shed light on Canada’s hidden public health crisis.
Globally, 800,000 people tragically take their own lives each year. In Canada alone, that number totals more than 4,000. What is harder to quantify is the ripple effect set into motion by every devastating loss. Each suicide forever changes the lives of at least 25 people, with 100 more feeling the reverberations.
Before the day is out, ten lives in Canada will be lost to suicide. Ask yourself, where is the hue and cry? Why aren’t we raising the alarm on a crisis proportionate to the opioid epidemic? Think about how we could do better: both as a caring society and as individuals able to reach out to those who may be foundering. By consistently underfunding mental illness proportionate to its disease burden, we continue to implicitly support the notion that mental health promotion, prevention and early intervention doesn’t matter. The truth is, it couldn’t matter more. Without appropriate investments, crisis care – the most expensive and ineffective – will continue to be the norm.
If we want to reverse the trajectory of deaths by suicide, a number that has remained unchanged for more than a decade, our best hope is to pool our strengths and resources, across all orders of government, to plant seeds of hope and resiliency in communities big and small.
Act today and help us conquer the stigma and shame that have shadowed suicide for far too long. It’s never too late to save a life.
Help, hope and healing are possible. If you or someone you care about needs immediate help, reach out to the local crisis line in your region. Together we can prevent suicide.
President and CEO, Mental Health Commission of Canada
Mental Health Commission of Canada, Media Relations
613.683.3748 / firstname.lastname@example.org