11 people die by suicide every day in Canada.

(source:Statistics Canada)

11.8% of people in Canada have had thoughts of suicide at some point in their lives.

(source:Health Canada)

For every person who dies by suicide, as many as 135 people can be impacted by the loss.

(source:Cerel et al, 2018)

Suicide in diverse populations

Research suggests that some populations or groups of people experience higher rates of suicide than others. But it’s important to remember that there is no one cause of suicide.

Having a particular identity or background does not mean that you will experience suicidal thoughts, or attempt suicide. However, marginalization, discrimination, oppression and lack of support are risk factors for suicide. People can have suicidal thoughts because of the way they are treated by others, not because of who they are.

To find out more information about how suicide affects different communities and populations, visit the links below.

Men

Information about how suicide affects men, from the Buddy Up campaign.

Learn more

First Nations youth

Wise Practices is dedicated to reducing suicide and promoting life among First Nations youth, and includes information about how suicide can affect Indigenous communities.

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Transgender, Two Spirit and non-binary people

Toolkit for understanding how suicide can affect transgender people, from the Centre for Suicide Prevention.

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Transgender, Two Spirit and non-binary youth

Summary of research into reducing rates of suicide among trans and non-binary young people, by the Trevor Project.

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Lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, queer, and sexually diverse people

Information about suicide risk for lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, queer, and other sexually diverse communities from the National Institutes of Health.

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First responders

Toolkit looking at trauma and suicide in first responders, from the Centre for Suicide Prevention.

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Veterans

Study on suicide and veterans by Veterans Affairs Canada.

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Young people

Information about mental health and suicide in young people in Canada, from Youth Mental Health Canada.

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Addictions and alcohol/substance use

Resource on substance use disorder and suicide, from the Centre for Suicide Prevention.

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Women

Information about how suicide can affect women, from the Centre for Suicide Prevention.

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Older adults

Fact sheet on how suicide affects people later in life, from the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

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Trauma and suicide

Information about the relationship between trauma and suicide, from the Centre for Suicide Prevention.

Learn more

Myths and facts about suicide

Myth: Suicide is caused by mental illness

Fact:

There is no single cause of suicide. Having a mental health problem can increase your risk of suicide, but many factors and circumstances can contribute to someone’s thoughts of ending their life. Things like loss, addictions, trauma, depression, serious physical illness, and major life changes can make some people feel overwhelmed and unable to cope. It isn’t necessarily the nature of the loss or stress that makes someone want to end their life — it’s the feeling that these things are unbearable. Talking to someone about what you are going through can help ease that pain. If you are feeling like this, remember you can reach out to us any time.

Myth: Suicide can be predicted

Fact:

Even trained professionals cannot always predict who will end their life. It is never anyone’s fault for “missing” the flags, or failing to predict and prevent suicide. However, there are signs that someone may be thinking about suicide, and we can always open a conversation. Find out more about warning signs and what you can do.

Myth: It’s dangerous to ask someone if they are considering suicide

Fact:

Talking about suicide does not make someone more suicidal.  Asking someone if they have been thinking about suicide can open up the conversation and help them share their feelings. They may well be glad that you asked. Find out more about how to talk to someone you are worried about.

Myth: Suicide is a sign of weakness

Fact:

Suicide is not a moral weakness or a character flaw. It is not selfish or a cry for attention. These ideas are all part of the stigma that surrounds suicide. Stigma can cause someone who is thinking about suicide to believe that their feelings are something to be ashamed of. It is dangerous and can stop people from seeking help. That is why it’s so important to talk about suicide, so we can break down the shame and stigma that surrounds it.

Myth: People considering suicide only want to end their life

Fact:

Most people who attempt suicide don’t necessarily want to die, but they do want to end their emotional pain. They may be overcome with hopelessness and unable to see another way out of their situation. They may have lost their sense of connection to the people around them. But thoughts of suicide can pass, and people who have thought about or attempted suicide in the past can go on to live full and rich lives when they receive the support they need.

Help when you need it

It’s important to talk about suicide. Connect any time: