If you are in distress, you can text WELLNESS to 741741 at any time. If it is an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to your local emergency department.

Home › Resources › Public Health and Suicide Fact Sheet

Public Health and Suicide Fact Sheet

Suicide in Canada is an ongoing public health crisis. While it continues to be a high-ranking cause of death (which the COVID-19 pandemic may worsen), mental health and public health initiatives can help prevent it.

What is public health?
Public health is concerned with protecting and improving people’s health at the population level. Examples include the detection, prevention, and control of infectious disease as well as health promotion, health protection, and research into preventing disease and injuries (Rutty & Sullivan, 2010; CDC Foundation, 2021).

Suicide as a public health emergency
Suicide is a continuing societal crisis. Its prevention requires both mental health and public health approaches. Mental health approaches are specifically aimed toward individuals, whereas public health approaches concern an entire population and are most evident through the action of large organizations (e.g. governments, media outlets) (Cramer et al., 2017; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d.).

Public health initiatives can effectively prevent suicide if they are multi-faceted; for example, initiatives that affect society, smaller communities, as well as individual people and their relationships. Initiatives that boost people’s resilience and protect them from thoughts of suicide may involve direct support (e.g. crisis lines, the construction of bridge barriers) and indirect support (e.g. housing programs) (Gunnell et al., 2020)

Feedback Form

Hey, there! Thanks for checking out this resource. We’d love it if you could share a little more info about yourself and how you got here (What kind of information were you looking for? Did this resource help?). Doing so will help us create better content in the future. Thanks!

Disclaimer:

  • The completion of the form is voluntary.
  • The information collected will be used solely and exclusively by the Mental Health Commission of Canada to improve the quality of our documents.
Are you willing to be contacted within 3 to 6 months for a short follow-up survey?
In case of “Yes” – please provide an email address

Disclaimer

Your feedback will only be used for feedback purposes. Thank-you for participating in our feedback program.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

SHARE THIS PAGE

RELATED

Of the estimated 4,000 suicide deaths in Canada each year, 75 per cent are men. Suicide is the country’s second leading cause of death for men aged 15-39 (after accidental...

People 65 years and older, especially men, have a high risk of suicide. As Canada’s largest population group, the baby boomers, approach the plus 65 age range, we may see...

COVID-19 continues to seriously impact mental health and substance use concerns People with substance use concerns are among those most likely to report thoughts about suicide, according to our latest...