What is the issue?
Suicide is one of the top 10 causes of death in Canada. It’s a serious public health problem with lasting, harmful effects on individuals, families, and communities.
Evidence has indicated that one of the most common risk factors for suicide is a diagnosis of a mental health problem or illness. Fortunately, programs and strategies are available that can make a difference.
What are we doing?
As part of our ongoing commitment to life promotion and suicide prevention, we have created a range of evidence-based resources.
Roots of Hope
A Community-led Suicide Prevention Project, Roots of Hope builds on community expertise to implement suicide interventions tailored to local contexts. Through this project, we are building an evidence base that includes best practices, guidelines, and tools to support the development of a suicide prevention model across the country.
Using the hashtag #ShareHope allows Canadians to share messages of hope and resilience via Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. Not on social media? Click to add a post directly to our #ShareHope wall.
Suicide: Facing the Difficult Topic Together
A free course designed to equip health care providers with the skills and confidence to have conversations with patients about suicide (accredited for continuing professional development). Developed by the MHCC, in partnership with the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP) and HealthCareCAN.
- Suicide Prevention Toolkits
Developed by the MHCC, in collaboration with the CASP, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), and an advisory committee of people with lived experience related to suicide, these toolkits offer a repository of resources to support people who have been impacted by suicide.
- Suicide Risk Assessment Toolkit: A Resource for Healthcare Workers and Organizations
Developed in collaboration with the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, provides a high-level overview of what health-care workers and organization need to consider when using suicide risk assessment tools. It also highlights and describes a range of available tools.
Developped through a partnership with us and the Centre for Suicide Prevetion, these fact sheets provide information on suicide and
- Research on Suicide and its Prevention: What the Current Evidence Reveals and Topics for Future Research
A literature summary aimed at building a shared Canadian research agenda on suicide and its prevention. Part of an ongoing initiative co-led by the MHCC and the PHAC.
- Post-Attempt Followup and Regular Contact Interventions – Evidence Brief on Suicide Care
A summary of current evidence and best practices as it relates to post-discharge followup after a suicide attempt.
- The Crossroads of Opioid Use and Suicide: Let’s Meet People Where They Need Us
Opioid use and suicide share many of the same risk factors and the same protective factors, addressing these factors can help prevent suicides and reduce the harms of opioid use.
- COVID-19 and Suicide: Potential Implications and Opportunities to Influence Trends in Canada – Policy Brief
A summary of current evidence as it relates to the potential impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on mental health and suicide rates (including suicidal ideation, attempts, and death), risk and protective factors to monitor, and opportunities to influence trends in Canada.
- Talking to Children About a Suicide
A conversation tool to help caregivers, parents, and guardians understand how to speak with children in their lives suicide when a suicide happens in the community or if someone they know has died by suicide.
- Considerations for Implementing a Three-Digit Suicide Prevention Number in Canada
This policy brief outlines considerations for implementing a three-digit suicide prevention number in Canada. It reviews several relevant international contexts; specifically, the implementation of a three-digit suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline (988) in the United States (U.S.) and the recently approved 113 number in the Netherlands. The brief is based on the survey, informal interviews, and a scan of academic and grey literature. The considerations it explores include the accessibility and visibility of the service, the capacity of crisis centres, training and staffing standardization, funding and operating costs, and the three-digit number selection.
Safe Messaging and Conversations
- Mindset: Reporting on Mental Health
This field guide, developed by the Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma, is designed to help media professionals write more complete stories and avoid contributing to mental health stigma. Among a range of updates in the third edition (2020) is guidance on creating more nuanced accounts related to suicide.
Learn more about understanding and reducing suicide risk using the resources below.
THE SOOKE EARLY ADOPTER COMMUNITY The Sooke-West Shore region of Vancouver Island includes a collection of municipalities just outside Victoria. Being a bit more affordable than Victoria proper, it often…
THE COMMUNITY OF BURIN PENINSULA The Burin Peninsula, an area that stretches southwest from the main island for some 130 km, has a population of about 19,000, spread across several…
THE WELLINGTON COUNTY COMMUNITY Waterloo Region: Wellington County: COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES AND ACHIEVEMENTS To minimize potential risks following a suicide death, the Roots of Hope community in Wellington County has focused…
THE WINDSOR-ESSEX COMMUNITY Windsor and Essex County has a population of more than 420,000 across seven municipalities. Windsor itself, with about 230,000 residents, is home to Canada’s busiest border crossing…
THE MEADOW LAKE AND AREA COMMUNITY While the City of Meadow Lake has a population of around 5,400, our Roots of Hope project serves the rural residents of 11 surrounding…
THE MADAWASKA-VICTORIA COMMUNITY The Madawaska and Victoria region in northern New Brunswick is home to about 50,000 people. The area is predominantly French‑speaking and has an economy centred on forestry,…
THE LA RONGE COMMUNITY The La Ronge and Area Roots of Hope Project lies in Woodland Cree territory in northern Saskatchewan within the Precambrian Shield’s boreal forest. Woodland Cree people…
THE HAMILTON COMMUNITY The City of Hamilton, at the west end of Lake Ontario between Niagara Falls and Toronto, is Canada’s ninth largest city, with a population of 767,000 (as…