02/03/2013 03:32 EST | Updated 04/05/2013 05:12 EDT

New campaign marks beginning of Quebec suicide prevention week

Quebec's suicide prevention association (AQPS) has started a campaign to mark the province's 23rd suicide prevention week.

"You're important to us. Suicide is not an option" aims to sensitize public to the problem of suicide in the province.

"The mobilization we've seen around suicide in the last 10 years is incredible," said Bruno Marchand, the AQPS's general director. "It's incredible to see the number of businesses and organizations are doing their part to help advance the cause."

Marchand said he hopes the public health system will make suicide prevention a priority.

He also said a suicide prevention strategy used in Australia between 1999 and 2006 resulted in a reduction in sucide rates from 22 to 17 for every 100,000 citizens.

The AQPS reports an average of 1,000 suicides every year in Quebec – roughly three a day.

Spokesperson for the association, Anne-Marie Caron, said the fact that the numbers in Quebec have not decreased in recent years is worrying officials.