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Senate report recommends Canada develop targeted suicide prevention strategies

A Senate report released today says Canada can make major strides in addressing suicide prevention if all levels of government develop strategies tailored towards men and Indigenous people, the groups facing the highest suicide rates. 

The Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology also says the Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention Act has done little to bring down the rate of suicides across Canada since it was adopted in 2016.

The report says this is because the current framework does not prioritize evidence-based interventions for suicide prevention and does a poor job at tracking the issue.

Senator Stan Kutcher, a committee member, says the report found men account for 75 per cent of suicides in Canada and that the highest rate of suicide is among Inuit in the north.

The report calls for Canada to create a national suicide data collection system and urged the existing 2016 framework to formally acknowledge the disproportionately high suicide rates among Indigenous people, as well as men and boys. 

The federal Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Carolyn Bennett did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report but the Senate says the minister has informed the committee work is being done to update the 2016 framework

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 8, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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