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September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day

Recently the Peel District School Board community was shaken by a series of teen suicides.  Soldiers are another cohort whose suicide rate has made news. Deaths by suicide in the aboriginal community have been disproportionately high for years.  Suicide is an event that challenges our basic assumptions and leaves families and friends deeply troubled.

Overall, an estimated 4,000 Canadians – and one million people worldwide – die by suicide each year, yet it remains a taboo subject that has not been discussed openly. 

World Suicide Prevention Day was created by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) to end the silence, encourage discussion and ultimately help prevent deaths from suicide.

This year’s theme is Suicide Prevention Across the Globe: Strengthening Protective Factors and Instilling Hope, emphasizing that suicide is a global problem that can, and does, affect anyone, anywhere.

As a hospital, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) treats the illnesses that can lead to suicide, but CAMH also plays a system role in health promotion, prevention, education and research. 

  • CAMH’s Centre of Prevention Science’s new school-based prevention program embeds mental health and suicide prevention into the highly successful Fourth R Program, applying best-practice approaches to building relationship skills and reducing harm among adolescents.

 

  • CAMH research impacting suicide is continuous and diverse, such as this newly announced grant awarded to Dr. Clement Zai, to identify novel DNA variants that contribute to the risk of suicidal behaviour. His goal is to develop genetic screening tools and identify medications that might reduce suicide risk. 

 

 

CAMH has online resources for available for people who would like to learn more or have been affected by suicide:

Information on suicide: List of symptoms, how to help someone else, and treatment resources if you need help.

When a parent dies by suicide... What kids want to know: A resource to help discuss suicide with a child who has lost a parent.

Hope and Healing after suicide:
A practical guide for people who have lost someone to suicide in Ontario.

 

The numbers are staggering

  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death among Canadian youth aged 15-24 (after vehicular accidents).

 

  • About 90 per cent of people who have died by suicide have at least one mental health disorder.

  • Suicide rates are five to seven times higher for First Nations youth than for non-Aboriginal youth.

  • Suicide rates among Inuit youth are among the highest in the world, at 11 times the national average.


Media contact: Michael Torres, CAMH Media Relations, 416-595-6015; or by email at media@camh.net

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The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, as well as one of the world's leading research centres in the area of addiction and mental health. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental health and addiction issues.

CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre.​​​

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