Message from the Minister of Health and the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health – International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day
November 19, 2022 | Ottawa, ON | Health Canada
International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day is a hard day for many, as survivors of suicide loss come together to grieve, remember loved ones and find connection, healing, and hope through shared experience. Losing someone to suicide is a loss like no other.
Suicide is a significant public health issue and, on this day in particular, we extend our condolences and hold space for those who must face this loss every single day.
In Canada, approximately 4,500 people die by suicide each year, with men being almost three times more likely than women to die in this way. Their deaths leave complex experiences of grief and loss for those who knew and loved them.
We are committed to supporting the mental health and well-being of everyone in Canada and recognize the importance of access to critical mental health and substance use resources, including suicide prevention services and support for survivors of suicide loss.
We are working to introduce a '988' service, an easily recognized three-digit number for suicide prevention and mental health crisis, in November 2023. In addition, the Government of Canada continues to invest in mental health supports for Canadians.
Through Budget 2019, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is investing $21 million over five years, with $4.2 million per year ongoing, in the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH) to oversee Talk Suicide Canada. Talk Suicide Canada currently provides people across Canada with suicide prevention and crisis support from trained responders. This includes help for people bereaved by suicide. Talk Suicide Canada is answering over 7,000 calls and texts from people across Canada on monthly basis.
PHAC provided more than $14.8 million over 36 months to Kids Help Phone to provide crisis support to children and youth during the COVID-19 pandemic. From April 2021 to March 2022, Kids Help Phone supported young people through a number of services, including more than 385,000 phone, text and live chat conversations, with suicide as one of the top five issues raised. The 2020 Fall Economic Statement announced a $50 million investment to bolster the capacity of distress centres across the country, which experienced a surge in demand for crisis support throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this investment, PHAC has provided funding support to 71 distress centres across Canada.
Anyone in Canada can reach out to Talk Suicide Canada for free and confidential crisis support. Call 1-833-456-4566, or text 45645 in the evenings. This service offers bilingual crisis support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Quebec residents can call 1-866-277-3553 or visit suicide.ca for support by text and online chat. Find community resources near you here.
For mental health assistance, Canadians can access the Wellness Together Canada Portal and its companion app PocketWell for free 24/7 educational content, self-guided therapy, moderated peer-to-peer support, and one-to-one counselling with qualified health professionals. Wellness Together Canada also has resources for coping with grief and loss.
For culturally competent support, Indigenous people can contact the Hope for Wellness Help Line by calling 1-855-242-3310. Telephone and online counselling are available in English and French. On request, telephone counselling is also available in Cree, Inuktitut and Ojibway.
Healing takes time and there is no right way to grieve, but we can support each other by connecting and sharing experiences with others who have experienced a similar loss. We can also help to reduce the stigma by talking about mental health and suicide prevention to make it easier for anyone who is struggling to seek help.
- The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P.
- The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, P.C., M.P.
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health
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