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Quick facts about suicide in Canada Published: ()
Globally, suicide is recognized as a significant public health issue (World Health Organization). In 2012, the Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention Act became legislation in Canada and led to the development of the 2016 Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention. The Framework is focused on raising awareness and reducing stigma, better connecting people to information and resources, and accelerating innovation and research to prevent suicide.
In light of the Framework, the Public Health Agency of Canada championed the dissemination of statistics on suicide and related risk factors through the development of the Suicide Surveillance Indicator Framework (SSIF). In June 2019, the SSIF was updated and released on the Public Health Infobase, an online interactive data tool.
Status of suicide in Canada
From 2017 to 2019, every year, approximately 4,500 people died by suicide in Canada, averaging 12 deaths each day.reference1
From 2017 to 2019, suicide was the ninth leading cause of death in Canada and the second leading cause of death among youth and young adults aged 15 to 34.reference2
Across all age groups, suicide rates are higher among males, whereas hospitalization rates associated with self-inflicted injury are higher among females between the ages of 10 to 69.reference3Income
In 2019, 0.8% of the population aged 15 and older reported having made suicide plans in the past year. This percentage was higher for people in the lowest income quintile (1.3%), compared with those in the highest quintile (0.5%).reference4Immigrant status
In 2019, 2.9% of the population aged 15 and older reported having thoughts of suicide in the past year. This percentage was higher for Canadian-born individuals (3.3%), compared with landed immigrants (1.8%).reference4Ethnicity
In 2019, 3.1% of the population aged 15 and older reported having attempted suicide in their lifetime. This was the case for 3.5% of people who were not members of visible minority groups, compared with 1.7% of those who were members of a visible minority).reference4
Help is available
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 9-1-1.
Help is available 24/7 for suicide prevention and mental health. Here are some resources:
- Talk Suicide Canada: 1-833-456-4566 (or text 45645 from 4pm to midnight ET)
- For Quebec residents: 1-866-APPELLE (277-3553)
- Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 or text CONNECT to 686868
- Hope for Wellness Helpline for Indigenous peoples: 1-855-242-3310
- Trans Lifeline: 1-877-330-6366
- Wellness Together Canada
- Preventing suicide: Warning signs and how to help
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