Canada Suicide

Nunavut Coroner Agrees Suicide Should Be Public Health Emergency

CP | The Canadian Press | Posted 09.28.2015 | Canada

The territory's suicide rate is 13.5 times the national average.

Making Sense of a Psychologist's Suicide

Adele Ryan McDowell | Posted 09.27.2015 | Canada Living
Adele Ryan McDowell

We think, perhaps, we could have done something differently -- made a move or said the right words that might have tipped the balance in favour of life. Death is not easy on a regular basis, but it becomes tainted and shame-faced when described as a suicide. It's as if we, the survivors, have somehow failed to do our part.

Canada's Failure to Protect Trans Women Should Be an Election Issue

Sophia Banks | Posted 09.23.2015 | Canada Politics
Sophia Banks

Like most women in Canada, I feel issues that affect me are generally ignored by politicians, especially on a federal level. There was some buzz on September 21st over the #UpForDebate, which was a panel featuring video clips from political party leaders and a panel of women discussing these clips about the neglected issues women in Canada face. As a woman I should perhaps feel positive and hopeful with this progress, that finally these issues are being addressed at least in some capacity. But as a trans woman I already know that issues affecting my unique needs and concerns will be ignored.

How Many Deaths Will it Take Before We Redefine Masculinity?

Toula Drimonis | Posted 09.21.2015 | Canada Living
Toula Drimonis

News that former NHL enforcer Todd Ewen's recent death was ruled a suicide saddened me. There is no doubt in my mind that competitive sports exact a physical and mental toll on professional athletes -- deaths are not just the consequences of a violent game and the long-term nefarious effects of injuries incurred on these athlete's bodies and brains, but a reflection of a society that does not allow for its men to be weak.

We Must End the Silence Surrounding Hospital Suicides

Kathleen Finlay | Posted 09.15.2015 | Canada Living
Kathleen Finlay

In Canada, it's not clear to what extent inpatient suicides, or unsuccessful attempts that lead to disability, are considered "never events" by healthcare decision makers, or who is keeping track of them for that matter. The fact is there is a wall of secrecy that surrounds hospital suicide and attempts at self-harm in Canada.

How Canadians Can Help a Friend in Need

Kevin Chan | Posted 09.10.2015 | Canada Impact
Kevin Chan

We need to become better aware of the warning signs of mental illness. We need to ask more questions, press for better answers, and for those who need help, encourage them to get it immediately. We need to make the kind of deep, personal connections that prevent suicides.

Stigma of Mental Illness Cuts Deeper For Canada's Aboriginal People

Sandra Charron | Posted 09.21.2015 | Canada Impact
Sandra Charron

I recently attended a mental health first aid course in order to further educate myself on the various mental illness disorders, the consequences of their severity and their overall prevalence in the population -- My eyes were opened to an entire population of our Canadian people whose rate of suicide was too horrifying to further ignore. As statistics related to aboriginal suicides were listed, I realized that this war being waged against the stigma of mental illness is but one of the many battles that will need to be addressed honestly in order to understand the magnitude of the affliction our mentally ill population is facing. As communities of aboriginals are fighting an invisible disease, society can dismiss the reality of the stigma by citing drugs and alcohol as the weak link in this people's history.

World Suicide Prevention Efforts in British Columbia

Alison Tedford | Posted 09.12.2015 | Canada Living
Alison Tedford

There have been thousands of words written about the prevalence of suicide among men. Thanks to the efforts of Joel Robison in collaboration with Heads Up Guys, there is also a powerful new image to bring awareness to the issue.

A Letter to My Younger Self on Understanding Suicide

Lynn Keane | Posted 09.10.2015 | Canada Living
Lynn Keane

Life is for the living. In the years to come you will wake thinking about your son and not his suicide. In accepting loss, your mind will search for memories of life before depression and suicide became part of your lexicon. There will be much work to do in your son's name and in support of youth suicide prevention.

Understanding the Grief of Suicide

Adele Ryan McDowell | Posted 08.20.2015 | Canada Living
Adele Ryan McDowell

Your world is no longer the same. There is no clock, no formula, no standard operating procedure. It takes as long as it takes. Your healing journey is unique to you. In grief, you remember and sift and sort through the good and not-so-good memories, feelings, history and artifacts of a life.

I Was Raped - and We Need to Talk About it

Jean-Paul Bedard | Posted 08.11.2015 | Canada Living
Jean-Paul Bedard

Two years before I entered high school, I was the victim of a violent rape that took place a mere few kilometres from the football locker room I was now standing in. From the moment of that assault, I chose to disappear, fractured into different people -- the person I was afraid to let you see, the person I wanted you to see, and the young man who struggled with that internal turmoil every day for the next 30 years. I've heard that living as a survivor of rape is like living with a secret tumor. It metastasizes in the dark hollows of shame, and it continues to destabilize and corrupt every bond and every relationship in a survivor's life.

Four Years Later, Wade Belak's Suicide Still Weighs Heavily on Me

Michael Landsberg | Posted 08.05.2015 | Canada Living
Michael Landsberg

He told me he was fine. He wasn't. Wade's suicide represents a failure of some kind to me. I'm not sure what. I just know that we were friends -- not best friends, but special friends. Special, because we were bonded by the knowledge of each other's illness. Bonded the way undercover cops might be. Why didn't he reach out to me? Had I not instilled in him enough confidence that I "got it?" I wrote about my guilt shortly after his death. In an article for I referred to my guilt as "blood on my hands."

I'm a Hypocrite for Hiding My Mental Illness From My Kids

Sandra Charron | Posted 08.05.2015 | Canada Living
Sandra Charron

All this time I've been advocating to end the stigma associated with mental illness, and yet, in my own home it's a topic I speak of only when the TV is blaring and the true consequences of my disease are muffled by the sound of America's Got Talent.

The Media Needs to Address Suicide

Arthur Gallant | Posted 07.30.2015 | Canada Living
Arthur Gallant

In my opinion, the media has a responsibility for helping to push social justice issues forward. While we should always be remembered for how we lived and not how we died we need to call a spade a spade. Let's take away the fear and stigma out of talking about suicide.

We Must Change the Way We Talk About Suicide

Arthur Gallant | Posted 08.10.2015 | Canada Impact
Arthur Gallant

The majority of people refer to the act of somebody taking their own life as "committing suicide." We tend to most often use the word "commit" when it comes to the act of carrying out a crime. The act of suicide was once a crime but its now widely known that suicide is most often the result of mental illness.

One Year Later: Lessons From Robin Williams' Suicide

Adele Ryan McDowell | Posted 07.23.2015 | Canada Living
Adele Ryan McDowell

On August 11, 2014, Robin's life shockingly ended in suicide. Much commentary ensued over the past year. On this first-year anniversary of his passing, it seems more than appropriate to ask the question: What have we learned from Robin Williams' suicide?

I'm a Canadian Who Suffers From Mental Ilness - And I'm far From Alone

Brittany Dempster | Posted 07.06.2015 | Canada Living
Brittany Dempster

I recall sitting on the ground at the back of a church in a crouched position. Tears flowed down my face as I whimpered. It was one of those days again -- a day that I did not want to see or talk to anyone; a day that I just wanted to go to sleep and never wake up again.

Assisted Suicide Policy Needs to Account for the Human Ability to Overcome

Harvey Max Chochinov | Posted 05.26.2015 | Canada Politics
Harvey Max Chochinov

Human beings are not good at predicting how they will react in circumstances that have yet to unfold. Those of us working in healthcare understand that life-altering illness, trauma or anticipation of death can sometimes sap the will to live. In those instances, healthcare providers are called upon to commit time; time to manage distress, provide unwavering support and to assuage fear that patients might be abandoned to their hopelessness and despair. That is the essence of how medicine has traditionally responded to suffering. Stopping time by way of arranging the patient's death has never been part of that response.

My Kids Stopped Me From Committing Suicide

BLUNTmoms | Posted 05.20.2015 | Canada Parents

The plan was to drive off the neighbourhood bridge. It had one of those flimsy corrugated steel side rails at the bottom of a steep hill and curve. I always felt those railings were only a token effort to protect against plans such as this. I had spent the morning running errands and my two-year-old was fast asleep in her car seat in the back. I had installed that seat with the help of a police officer and I knew it was secure and designed to protect on impact. I could see her in my rearview mirror and had a moment of doubt thinking of what I would miss out on.

Police Chiefs Must Remove the Stigma From Talking About Mental Health

Arthur Gallant | Posted 05.12.2015 | Canada Living
Arthur Gallant

I am genuinely worried about the mental health of police officers across Canada (and around the world for that matter). It absolutely appalls me that there are officers across the country taking their own lives -- some with their service-issued gun. Police chiefs across the country need to get really creative to ensure another member of their forces do not take their own lives. One way we can help to facilitate this much-needed change is by talking. We need to take the sting out of talking about mental illness. None of us would be ashamed to admit we have a physical illness, so why are we so afraid to talk about our mental illnesses?

Treatment for Mental Illness Is as Necessary, and Normal, as Chemo

Sandra Charron | Posted 06.24.2015 | Canada Living
Sandra Charron

I often use cancer as an example when making a point about the lack of support when speaking of mental illness because the very fact that cancer campaigns are many, funding is frequent, and nobody denies its existence nor attributes stigma to the disease is the direct antithesis of that ascribed to any mental illness.

Social Change Requires More Than Just a Retweet

Elisa Birnbaum | Posted 05.16.2015 | Canada Impact
Elisa Birnbaum

Bell Let's Talk Day inspired active online engagement, attracted celebrity endorsements and the attention of media, all the while raising vital charitable dollars. But a one-day social media event is not enough to significantly move the needle away from ignorance, fear and silence. After all, what happens the next day, and the day after that? Social change requires more than a social media plan. It requires a long-term sustainable strategy. Because in our content-rich, highly distracted world, passion is sometimes overrun by profit, causes are sidestepped by things like limited overhead and the desire to stay current fuels an unyielding need to move onto the next big thing.

'Stay Weird, Stay Different' Was The Best Message The Oscars Could Deliver

The Huffington Post Canada | Emma Prestwich | Posted 02.23.2015 | Canada Impact

Most Academy Award winners stay safe with their speeches, thanking family members and colleagues. But Graham Moore decided to be brave. The writer ...

Writing Helps Me Cope With My Son's Suicide

Lynn Keane | Posted 04.24.2015 | Canada Living
Lynn Keane

Reading non-fiction and personal memoirs was also an important part of the healing process for me. Reading allowed me to set aside my own emotions and be absorbed in someone else's life. It provided an escape and a road map to writing my son's story.

Man Who Attempted Suicide Finds Guy Who Saved His Life

The Huffington Post Canada | Emma Prestwich | Posted 02.16.2015 | Canada Impact

One cold night in 2002, Mark Henick decided he wanted to kill himself. The Cape Breton teen had attempted suicide before. He was anxious and depres...