Statement made on 08 February 2012 by Senator Dennis Dawson
Hon. Dennis Dawson:
Honourable senators, this week is suicide prevention week. In a previous speech on this subject, I mentioned a number of facts that I think bear repeating here.
Suicide is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Each day, more than 10 Canadians commit suicide. In the past 30 years, more than 100,000 Canadians have taken their own lives. According to the World Health Organization, at 15 per 100,000, Canada's suicide rate is one of the highest in the world. Also according to WHO, there are up to 20 attempted suicides for each death. Suicide is the second most common cause of death among people aged 10 to 24, according to the Quebec psychiatric association.
To talk about suicide is not a fun thing. It hurts us. We always find it painful, but we have to talk about it. We need to talk about it and tell everybody that suicide is not an option. We have to tell people that there are resources, and we need to help them.
Every time someone commits suicide, everyone suffers. During this suicide prevention week, let us all take a moment to reflect on what we can do as a society and, particularly, what we can do as senators to address the problem.
The House of Commons adopted a nearly unanimous motion calling for the development of a national suicide prevention strategy.
I urge you, honourable senators, to support the motion I moved last fall. I hope that Senator Carignan, who is supposed to speak on this issue, will have the opportunity to do so, and I hope that we can count on his support.