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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 as an online interactive data tool.
Status of suicide in Canada
In 2017, approximately 4,000 people died by suicide in Canada, averaging 11 deaths each day [Suicide in Canada infographic].
That year, 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 [Statistics Canada].
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 [Suicide in Canada infographic and SSIF].
In 2016, 0.7% 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 (1.2%), compared with those in the highest quintile (0.4%) [SSIF].
In 2016, 2.5% of the population aged 15 and older reported having thoughts of suicide in the past year. This percentage was higher for Canadian-born individuals (3.0%), compared with landed immigrants (1.4%) [SSIF].
In 2016, 3.1% of the population aged 15 and older reported having attempted suicide in their lifetime. This was the case for 3.1% of people who were not members of visible minority groups, compared with 1.7% of those who were members of a visible minority) [SSIF].
Help is available
If you are in crisis:
- Contact a call centre in Canada near you
- Call Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868
- Text CONNECT to 686868
- Online chat services (available 24/7)
- Trans Lifeline: 1-877-330-6366
- Hope for Wellness Help Line: 1-855-242-3310
- Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419
- Canada Suicide Prevention Service: 1-833-456-4566 (available 24/7)
- For Quebec residents: 1-866-APPELLE (277-3553) (available 24/7)
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