What is the issue?
Suicide is one of the top ten 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 Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Tumblr. 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 mdBriefCase.
- Suicide Prevention Toolkits
Developed by the MHCC, in collaboration with the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (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.
- Preventing Suicide: A Community Engagement Toolkit
A resource based on #308conversations, a grassroots campaign inviting Canada’s MPs to start a conversation on suicide prevention at a meeting in their riding. Developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), with support from the MHCC.
- 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 Public Health Agency of Canada (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 by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC). 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.
Tool Kit for Survivors of Suicide Loss and Postvention Professionals
The toolkit is a one-stop repository of high-quality, publicly available resources
Suicide Prevention Webinar Series
Focused on suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention
Online modules for healthcare professionals
Access our accredited, online suicide prevention training modules for family physicians and nurses
The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) is committed to promoting mental health and wellness and preventing suicide in Canada and has made work in this area a top priority. Click on the links below for more information.