Suicide in Canada
Learn about the impact of suicide in Canada and populations most at risk.
On this page
- Impact of suicide in Canada
- Higher-risk populations
- Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on suicide
- Suicide rates in Canada
- For more information
Impact of suicide in Canada
Suicide impacts people of all ages and backgrounds in Canada.
Every year, approximately 4,500 people in Canada die by suicide,Footnote 1 which is equivalent to 12 people dying by suicide every day.
For every person lost to suicide, many more experience thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts.
Every day, more than 200 people in Canada attempt suicide.Footnote 2
For every death by suicide, at least 7 to 10 survivors are significantly affected by the loss.
In Canada, the following groups have higher rates or risk of suicide:
- men and boys
- people serving federal sentencesFootnote 3
- survivors of suicide loss and survivors of a suicide attempt
- some First Nation and Métis communities, especially among youthFootnote 4
- all Inuit regions in CanadaFootnote 4
Women have higher rates of self-harm. Self-harm can be a risk factor for suicide.
Thoughts of suicide and suicide-related behaviours are more frequent among LGBTQ youth in comparison to their non-LGBTQ peers. This refers to those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, Two-Spirit or queer/questioning youth.
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide or suicide-related behaviour, help is available.
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on suicide
Adults in Canada experienced increased suicidal ideation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before the pandemic, in 2019, 2.7% of adults in Canada reported suicidal ideation. In spring 2021, this percentage rose significantly to 4.2%.Footnote 5 However, it will take time to understand the impact on the rate of deaths by suicide in Canada.
Suicide rates in Canada
The Suicide in Canada infographic will show you in an easy to understand way how widespread suicide is in Canada. The more you know about suicide, the more you'll understand why it's an important public health issue.
For more information
- About suicide
- Preventing suicide: Warning signs and how to help
- Mental health support: Get help
- Infographic: Suicidal ideation among adults in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Map of Canadian Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Inequalities in the mental health of adults before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: data tool
- Suicide in Canada: Key statistics (infographic)
- Find a crisis centre: Crisis centres across Canada
- Centre for Suicide Prevention
- Canadian Coalition for Seniors’ Mental Health: Suicide risk and prevention of suicide
- Mental Health Commission of Canada: Suicide prevention
- Association québécoise de prévention du suicide (available in French only)
- Centre de prévention du suicide de Québec (available in French only)
Resources for professionals
- Suicide Surveillance Indicator Framework
- Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention-Progress Report 2020
- Statistics Canada information on suicide, including tables and articles
- National Inuit Suicide Prevention Strategy
- Overview of Federal Initiatives in Suicide Prevention
- Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention
- First Nations Mental Wellness Continuum Framework
- Arctic Council: Sharing Hope: Circumpolar Perspectives on Promising Practices for Promoting Mental Wellness and Resilience
- World Health Organization: Preventing Suicide: A Global Imperative
- Footnote 1
Statistics Canada.Canadian Vital Statistics - Death Database (CVSD).
- Footnote 2
Statistics Canada. Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS).
- Footnote 3
Public Safety Canada. 2020 Corrections and Conditional Release Statistical Overview.
- Footnote 4
Mohan B, T. M. Suicide among First Nations people, Métis and Inuit (2011-2016): Findings from the 2011 Canadian Census Health and Environment Cohort (CanCHEC).
- Footnote 5
Liu L, Pollock NJ, Contreras G, Tonmyr L, Thompson W. Prevalence of suicidal ideation among adults in Canada: Results of the second Survey on COVID-19 and mental health. Health Rep. 2022;33(5):13-21.
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