The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP)

The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP)

February 03, 2012 08:00 ET

Canadians Urge Parliament to Support Bill for a National Suicide Prevention Strategy

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - Feb. 3, 2012) -

From: The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP), Canadian Psychiatric Association, Canadian Mental Health Association, Canadian Psychological Association, Living Works, Association québécoise de prévention du suicide and Your Life Counts

Last October when the House of Commons spoke to a motion put forward by the Hon. Bob Rae regarding suicide prevention, Canadians were moved by how passionately members of the house spoke on this critical public health issue and national tragedy. "We were touched by the personal stories that where shared and how this issue overcomes our differences and can unite us, said Dammy Damstrom Albach, President of CASP. Damstrom Albach went on to say "Suicide affects us all and the burden and responsibility for preventing suicide is shared by all."

"We need our federal politicians to show continued leadership and coordinate a response to what is a complex and devastating national public health problem," said Dr. Fiona McGregor, the President of the Canadian Psychiatric Association. "Suicide prevention is an integral part of improving mental health care."

"A call to action that charts a course for suicide prevention in Canada must address the many factors that put people at risk, promote the factors that protect them, and delivers needed services and supports," said Dr. Karen Cohen Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Psychological Association. "Suicide is the seconding leading cause of death among youth and reaches its highest rates in middle and even later life. The personal and societal costs of suicide are inestimable."

Last October MP's showed Canadians that suicide was a non partisan issue. Tim Wall Executive Director states "Parliamentarians demonstrated their concern and what we all saw is a commitment to continue to work together and put that concern into action."

Last year two private members bills addressing the need for a national suicide prevention strategy where tabled in the house by the Hon. Harold Albrecht and Hon. Megan Leslie. It is expected that at least one of these bills will soon find its way to the House of Commons for second reading. According to Damstrom Albach this is a critical moment in suicide prevention and Canada's history. Canadians have been asking the Government of Canada for a national vision and framework for suicide prevention for well over a decade. Wall elaborated "We believe that a national strategy or framework creates the vision that unites all our efforts across Canada, promotes collaboration, the sharing of knowledge and experience and will save lives." Until now Canada has ignored both the U.N. and WHO guidelines that recognize suicide as global health crisis and that calls upon every country to have both a national strategy for suicide prevention and an adequately funded national coordinating body.

CASP urges all Members of Parliament to support these bills. CASP is also encouraging Canadians to show their support by sign Mr. Albrecht's petition which is available on his website at www.haroldalbrecht.ca under "private Members Business" and for organizations and community groups to write letters of support and send to either Mr. Albrecht at harold.albrecht@parl.gc.ca or Ms. Leslie at megan.leslie@parl.gc.ca.

The time for action is now. Delays cost lives.

Contact Information