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Suicide Awareness

Estimates indicate that for every recorded death by suicide, there are from 5% to 25% unreported suicides. Attempts to die by suicide are estimated to be 40 to 100 times greater than the number of deaths by suicide.

Canadians are approximately 7 times more likely to die from suicide than to be a victim of homicide.


Youth and Suicide in Canada:

  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death among Canadian youth aged 10 – 24, the first leading cause is motor vehicle accidents.

  • Every year in Canada, almost 300 youth die by suicide. Between 8/10 of Canadian youth consider suicide before graduating high school.

  • Adolescent men are three to five times more likely to die by suicide than young women are.

  • Adolescent women are four to seven times more likely to attempt suicide than young men are.

  • Studies indicate widespread use of alcohol and drugs among teens are major causal factors in youth suicide.

  •  Men are at least three times more likely than women to die by suicide.​

  • Women make three to four times more suicide attempts than men do.

  • Men are also more likely than women to die during their first suicide attempt, because the methods men tend to use are more lethal.

There is no single reason why people consider suicide.  Often there are a variety of stressors, mental health concerns and life events that contribute to thoughts of suicide. The majority of people who struggle with thoughts of suicide are do not want to die, but an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness contribute to suicidal behaviour.  Suicide is more often about having trouble with life than about wanting to die.

Understanding Risks that can Contribute to Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings

  • Living with a serious physical or mental illness, or supporting someone who has a serious physical or mental illness

  • Excessive use of alcohol, illegal and/or prescription drugs and/or other substances.

  • Experience of traumatic event or major loss

  • Past suicide attempts

  • Social isolation

  • Recent suicide of a relative or friend, or family history of suicide

  • Struggling with identity issues or planning for the future

  • Living with or recovering from abuse, domestic violence, bullying or sexual assault

  • Major life changes

  • Sexual orientation and the impact of stigma and/or discrimination

  • Peer pressure, low self-esteem, and self-harm as only coping strategy

Signs of Risk

Someone with thoughts of suicide may:

  • talk about wanting to die

  • threaten suicide

  • show changes in behaviour,

  • change their appearance

  • experience mood swings

  • abuse drugs and/or alcohol

  • deliberately injure themselves

  • appear depressed or sad

  • withdraw from family & friends

  • easily become agitated or angry


Helping a friend

  • Be a good friend

  • Listen carefully

  • Be patient and calm

  • Watch for warning signs

  • Get help from others

  • Send them a text to check in and have them text you back

  • Don’t keep it a secret

  • Don’t take on their problems, just try to help connect them

  • Take all threats seriously


Helping myself

TALK ABOUT IT! Tell Someone; a friend, parent, family doctor, counsellor…someone who will listen

Keep yourself safe

  • Have a contact you feel comfortable with that you can call

  • Have a safe place where you feel like no one can harm you and you will not harm yourself

  • Distract yourself with favourite things

  • Develop a support system

  • Know who you can call

  • Have their numbers available. Make a list

  • Don’t be scared to ask someone to stay with you

  • Know that you can always call the crisis line

Day to day tips

  • Get lots of sleep

  • Eat healthy

  • Exercise, get active

  • Try to relax with yoga, deep breathing,

  • meditation, reading or music

  • Stay involved or get involved with activities you enjoy

  • Surround yourself with positive people

  • Avoid drugs, alcohol & caffeine

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